The Louvre: The History, The Collections, The Architecture (Hardcover)
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Experience the Louvre's majestic halls, grand galleries, and stunning artworks in this exquisite visit to the world-renowned museum--highlighting beloved works of art alongside hidden gems, all situated in the palace's stunning architectural spaces.
Every year, more than ten million visitors from around the world visit the Louvre's 68,000 square meters of gallery space containing more than 35,000 works of art. The Louvre is widely considered the most innovative of the world's preeminent museums.
This gorgeous tome is a celebration of an enduring institution and the magnificent works of art that it houses. Rather than showing only isolated images of the artworks themselves, this book shows many of the pieces in the context of the beautiful galleries and spaces where they live, to give the reader an experience similar to being at the Louvre.
The Louvre explores the eight centuries of fascinating history surrounding the museum, which began in the Middle Ages as a fortress, then became a royal residence which continued to enlarge, expand, and develop over the centuries with the most brilliant architects and painters being called to work on this architectural masterpiece. In 1793, the Louvre confirmed its role as a "temple of the arts" when it was made the first national museum open to the public. From then on, its collections continued to grow from its roots in the old royal collection, benefiting from acquisitions, archaeological discoveries, donations, and bequests. Centuries of growth, evolution, and transformation culminated in the 1980s with the "Grand Louvre" project symbolized by I.M. Pei's world-famous and critically acclaimed modernist pyramid.
About the Author
Geneviève Bresc-Bautier is a longtime curator at the Louvre and a professor at the École du Louvre. She organized and curated the first exhibition at the Louvre-Lens on the Renaissance.
"It’s not only Europe’s greatest museum; the Louvre is also a palace, upon which France’s kings, revolutionaries, emperors and presidents have projected visions of power and nationhood. Visit without the crowds or the jet lag with this sumptuous volume, whose 600 pages let you scrutinize the woodwork of Henri II’s bedroom, the gold of Louis XIV’s Galerie d’Apollon, the glass of I.M. Pei’s pyramid. The pleasure of this book comes from narrating the Louvre’s history as residence and museum together, and photographing the whole collection in situ." — NEW YORK TIMES, Best Art Books of 2020
"...with sumptuous full-color photographs by Gérard Rondeau that can be almost as alluring as the art pictured." —WALL STREET JOURNAL
"With trips to Paris on the shelf indefinitely, the next best thing might just be Rizzoli’s new doorstop The Louvre, a history of and illustrated guide to the museum’s collections. Through hundreds of high-quality photographs, the book tells the story of the building and its holdings, all wrapped in an attractive hardback package, with a delightful bound ribbon bookmark." —NEW CRITERION
"Holiday Gift Guide/Best Art Books 2020: Visit without the crowds or the jet lag with this sumptuous volume, whose 600 pages let you scrutinize the woodwork of Henri II’s bedroom, the gold of Louis XIV’s Galerie d’Apollon, the glass of I.M. Pei’s pyramid. The pleasure of this book comes from narrating the Louvre’s history as residence and museum together, and photographing the whole collection in situ." —NEW YORK TIMES