The Musée du Louvre is not only the largest museum in the world but also the most visited one. According to last year’s statistics, more than 8 million visited the palace-turned museum as part of private Louvre museum tour or in groups. A lot of that footfall is due to an extensive collection of artworks in the former royal palace, which comprises some of the popular works of art from world-renowned artists.
Sounds clichéd? Look into the reason why Louvre said no to the proposal to loan the Mona Lisa painting in its collection as part of a Grand Tour project across France. The Louvre said that loaning out the painting of Leonardo da Vinci would incur an astronomical cost to the museum. The national museum obviously did not want to disappoint those who will be on a guided visit, expecting to photograph the iconic painting among other things.
The Palatial Louvre Museum
The collections of the Musée du Louvre are separated into 8 curatorial departments, namely Egyptian Antiquities; Greek, Roman, and Etruscan Antiquities; Islamic Art; Near Eastern Antiquities; Sculptures; Decorative Arts; Paintings; and Prints and Drawings. The museum is home to over 300,000 objects and 35,000 artworks, and they are all exhibited in the said departments spread in more than 73,000 sq. m. area. Yet again, the highlight of a private Louvre Museum tour does not just end with an exploration of all things fine arts – paintings, photos, statues, prints and drawings, curious objects.
The spacious museum is rife with architectural features spread across its impressive rooms and outside it. For starters, you can admire the glass pyramids, designed by American-Chinese architect Ieoh Ming Pei, in the courtyard of the Louvre Museum. Once you enter the palatial building where former French kings used to reside, you can see many other architectural nods such as the Grand Staircase and impressive murals on its interior. One of its often overlooked features is the stained glass windows of the Renaissance, which resides in the Richelieu Wing.
The Louvre Museum and Beyond
There is more to the museum in Paris than the treasure trove of artworks it is home to. If you explore areas in France, where Louvre’s highlights reside, you will appreciate the royal palace even more. Part of that objective is achieved if you visit the main museum, the attached museum of Delacroix and the gardens.
The Carrousel and Tuileries Gardens
Jardins du Carrousel is home to an open area with a triumphal arch, which marks the entrance to the former Tuileries Palace. The gardens reside next to the palatial building, the eponymous museum, and Place de la Concorde square. Moreover, the two gardens combined are home to more than 200 sculptures and vases, which trace back to the 17th Century and 21st Century. The esplanade with the arch provides a perfect setting for visitors to walk around and get an absorbing view of the Louvre Museum’s exterior.
The Musée National Eugène-Delacroix
The Eugène-Delacroix museum is annexed to the back of the Musée du Louvre since 2004. If you have a private Louvre Museum tour ticket that costs €15 and €17 for onsite booking and online booking, you can use that ticket to enter this museum for free of cost. When the museum hosted the Eugène-Delacroix exhibit, they made it a point to remind those on a guided visit to explore this museum named after the French painter to help visitors acquaint with his work even more. The museum houses paintings, drawings, pastels, lithographs, memorabilia, and missives related to the French artist cum romanticist. Moreover, the garden provides visitors a quiet, tranquil spot that adds peace to the private Louvre Museum tour.
The Louvre Lens
Musée du Louvre has a regional branch of situated in the Lens commune. The community in northern France is home to the division of the museum in Paris city. The Louvre Lens is where the Mayor of Lens Sylvain Robert planned to bring the Mona Lisa, as part of a traveling exhibition across the country. However, that was not to be since the onus was certainly on the visitors and the Louvre Museum in Paris rejected the proposal of the Cultural Ministry.
Yet again, the museum in Lens has works of art, most of which are on loan from the permanent collection of its parent institution. The museum houses more than 200 works of art, which are varied in both origin and nature and ranging from the sculptures and statuettes tracing back to Mesopotamia to the masterful paintings.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi
In its endeavor to bring artworks to the fine art lovers, the museum in the City of Lights also opened a regional branch in Abu Dhabi, which also happened to be the first of its kind in the Middle East. In partnership with Agence France-Muséums, the Musée du Louvre is contributing immensely to scientific expertise and museology. If you have seen the spacious building, you know what it feels like to visit the Louvre’s curatorship and possessions.