As you know, Louvre is the biggest art museum in the world. More than 35.000 art pieces are displayed on an area of 72.735 m². Knowing this, and seeing the ticket queue in front of the Louvre can be intimidating. Truly, if you want to discover and enjoy the entire museum, considering that most of the information in the museum is in French, you will need at least a week to do it justice…
For this reason, there are a lot of lists based on the most important pieces of art you must see in the Louvre. This article is one of those lists; it is a bit personal and a bit informative. Actually, it is also a bit “pop”. So, let’s start:
1- One must try different tactics to “minimize” the long queue in front of the Louvre, such as entering from the main door instead of entering from where the Pyramid is and booking your hotel ticket from websites that offer museum entrance advantages. If you don’t want to hear anyone tell you “I can’t believe you came back without seeing that art piece” you should first head to the museum store and do not skip the art pieces which have the most souvenirs.
You can find a lot of “Must-See Masterpieces in Louvre” books in the souvenir shop, I suggest you to go through them a bit. Prior to your visit, watching the music video of Beyoncé and Jay Z’s “Apeshit” will also be inspiring.
2- For the 30th anniversary of Louvre’s glass pyramid that is located in the museum’s courtyard, French street artist Jr. Created a new art piece. Jr. unveils the big secret of the pyramid with the art piece “The Secret of the Great Pyramid”. This work of art was created with the help of 400 volunteers. Definitely an amazing piece!
You will find great pieces of Egypt history in the Louvre! As I am a big fan of the Egyptian history, I always start my visit from that part… Here are some art pieces from the Egyptian Collection part you must see:
3- Real mummies, even cat and dog mummies. (It is a very interesting experience to see them up close)
4- Seated Scribe/Squatting Scribe – One of the most prestigious artworks found in the Louvre Museum. he sculpture was discovered at Saqqara. It is said that in addition to being a scribe the sculpture may also be of a prince.
5- Great Sphinx of Tanis- They brought in this giant Sphinx; it is an amazing work of art!
6- Statue of Akhenaten- When Akhenaten, who banned the old faith Polytheism and brought Monotheism, passed away, the pharaohs and clergyman that ruled in Egypt after him declared him as the enemy and they removed all the traces from his era. For this reason, the statue of Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) is of utmost importance.
7- The Fayum Mummy Portraits http://nilayornek.com/dunyanin-ilk-portre-resimleri-fayyum-portreleri-ile-tanisin/
The paintings in Louvre… Those amazing paintings…
More than 7500 paintings are displayed in the Louvre. In addition to the paintings of the French artists, there are also works of artists from many European countries… Everyone has different taste in paintings, but I will tell you about some of my favorites.
8- Do I have to say Mona Lisa? There are other Leonardo Da Vinci paintings that you must definitely see.
9- Les Noces de Cana – The Wedding Feast at Cana
Find Suleiman the Magnificent in the painting! Created by the Italian painter Paolo Verenosese in 1563, the dimensions of this masterpiece is 6.77m × 9.94m. So it is a bit “enormous”. It is a representational painting that depicts the biblical story of the Marriage at Cana, at which Jesus converts water to wine having gathered all of the sultans, kings and queens of an era. Look at the left side and you will find Suleiman the Magnificent in a yellow dress and red turban.
10- La Liberté Guidant le Peuple/ Liberty Leading the People
One of the most famous symbols of the French Revolution. It is regarded as one of the masterpieces of French art. The masterpiece is painted by the French painter Eugène Delacroix in 1831.
11- Gallery of Views of Modern Rome (1759)
How about seeing views from the Modern Rome Gallery? The dimensions of this painting by Giovanni Paolo Panini is 2.31 m x 3.03 m. You can not find this work of art in many must see lists. But this painting and the paintings located in the same hall as this piece are definitely work seeing. Very interesting and very impressive.
In architect and palace decorator Panini’s works you will find paintings within paintings.
12- De Kantwerkster / La Dentellière/ The Lacemaker
One of the masterpieces of the Flemish painter Vermeer…
13- La Grande odalisque/ Grande Odalisque
Created by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres in 1816. It is one of the most famous French paintings.
14- The Valpinçon Bather
The painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres is regarded as the masterpiece of delicate light and consistent lines. Ingles used this figure once again in his painting called The Turkish Bath.
15- La Mort de Sardanapale – The Death of Sardanapalus
A painting by Eugène Delacroix with the dimensions of 3.92 x 4.96m. The Death of Sardanapalus is based on the tale of Sardanapalus, the last king of Assyria
In addition to paintings:
16- La Victoire de Samothrace / Winged Victory of Samothrace
Discovered in 1863 and created in about the 2nd century BC, this unique marble Hellenistic sculpture of Nike (the Greek goddess of victory) has a height of 3.63 m. This headless statue is one of the best pieces in the museum and was located in a wonderful spot. Don’t forget to check the ceilings of the room next door!
17- Psyché Ranimée par la Baiser de l’Amour/ Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss
Created by the Italian sculptor Antonio Canova in 1791, the statue is interpreted as Eros (Cupid) reviving Psyche with his kiss.
18- Venus de Milo (Miloslu Venüs/Afrodit)
Venus of the Romans, Aphrodite of the Greeks. This approximately 3.5-metre statue was discovered on the Greek island Milos.
19- Human-headed winged bulls
The symbols that combined humans, bulls and birds used to represent Shedu or Lamassu. These statues were placed on the city and palace gates to protect against the enemies. They belong to Assyrian era and they are from the capital of Sargon II, Dur Sharrukin.
20- One of the parts of the Louvre Museum that attracts huge attention: the Department of Islamic Arts. Lots of examples from Anatolia are displayed such as Iznik Ceramics (Some of the ceramics were taken from Turkey, such as the half circle ceramic board from Piyale Pasa Mosque and ceramic wall panels from the tomb of Selim the 2nd.)