The Louvre

The Louvre is an art museum at 75001 Paris, France

The Louvre began as a fortress under the reign of Philippe Auguste on the banks of the seine in 1190.

In 1364, Raymond du Temple, architect to Charles V, began transforming the old fortress into a splendid royal residence.

After the death of Charles VI, the Louvre slumbered for a century until 1527, when François I decided to take up residence in Paris.

François I ordered new buildings built, and was completed under Henri II. The decoration was finished under Henri IV

In 1682 Louis XIV, the reigning monarch, moved to Versailles.

In the 18th century the idea formed to turn the louvre into a museum. the comte d'Angiviller built the Grande Galerie, and continued gathering art.

In 1793 the government opened The Musée Central des Arts in the Grande Galerie to the public, and in the 19th century to large wings were opened.

In the 80's and 90's the building was built on to make it more accessible to the people. Shops, offices, storage areas, an auditorium, cafeterias were added under the building, and parking lots and bus stations were added outside.

the glass pyramid was designed by American architect I.M. Pei which caused much controversy over its existence.

the louvre's art collection is vast, representing all art periods up to the Revolutions of 1848. There are eight departments of art: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings.

There is over 50,000 pieces of art in the Egyptian antiquities from 4000 BC to the 4th century. It was created when the Rosetta stone was found.

The Near Eastern Antiquities was added in 1881 after the discovery of Sargon II's palace.

Greek, Roman, and Etruscan Art displays pieces from the Mediterranean area from prehistory to the 6th century.

The Islamic Art spans thirteen centuries and three continents. It became its own section in 2003

Sculptures contain sculptures from before 1881 that is not Greek, Roman, or Etruscan.

Decorative Arts contains spans the middle ages to the mid-19th century

The Paintings department hold paintings from the 13th century to 1848; it has the most famous pieces in the Louvre.

The Prints and Drawings department holds works on paper. It has 40,000 prints, 3,000 drawings, and 5,000 illustrated books

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