The Louvre Paris France is filled with works of art, and many of them, like the Venus di Milo, are downright masterpieces.
The Louvre is huge, with 35,000 pieces on display, and you can't see all the masterpieces in one visit, let alone all the artwork!
But, to help you make the best of your time in this 650,00-square-foot colossus, here is a list of some of the most popular and most famous works of art, including the Venus di Milo.
But Venus di Milo is just a start! You can probably name half a dozen famous pieces off the top of your head – Leonardo de Vinci's Mona Lisa, the Nike of Samothrace (Winged Victory), and all those oversized French paintings!
The armless Aphrodite of Milos (as it is otherwise called) has captured the imagination of art lovers since it was discovered on the Greek island of Milos in 1820 by a Greek peasant and a French naval officer.
It arrived at the Louvre the next year and was the subject of an intense marketing campaign as the French version of the Medici Venus, which had been looted by Napoleon, but returned to Italy in 1815. The statue dates from 100 BCE.
La Gioconda, as she is also known, is arguably the most famous painting in history.
Leonardo de Vinci began painting this portrait of Lisa del Giocondo in about 1504, while he was living in Florence. He was 52 years old at the time.
Leonardo de Vinci later moved to the Vatican and then to France, where he was invited by King Francis I, who later bought this famous painting and hung it in Château Fontainebleau. Louis XIV moved it to Versailles, but the French Revolutionaries transferred it to Louvre. Napoleon, by the way, moved it to his bedroom in the Palais des Tuileries!
The Winged Victory of Samothrace was created in about 200 BCE to honor Nike, the Greek Goddess of Victory, as thanks for victory in a naval battle.
It was discovered on the Greek island of Samothrace in 1863 and excavated by Charles Champoiseau, the French consul. The statue was found in pieces and what we see at the Louvre Art Museum today is a re-assembly of those pieces.
It was placed in the Louvre in 1884 and commands a dominating position at the top of the Daru staircase.
Coronation of Napoleon
|Nicolas Poussin, Rape of the Sabine Women|
|La Tour, Cheat with Ace of Diamonds||Delatour, Marquis de Pompadour||
Death of Sardanapalus
|Veronese, The Wedding Feast at Cana||
St. Mary Magdalene
|Sarcophagus With The Story of Prometheus|
With 7 million visitors a year the Louvre is always crowded and lines are long.
By planning ahead, however, you can avoid most of the lines and go directly to the Mona Lisa on a Louvre art museum tour. You not only get into the museum quickly, but you're in the company of an expert guide who can make your visit more illuminating.
Check out our selection of recommended tours of the Louvre, the most popular art museum in the world.
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