Louvre Museum

Louvre Museum

National museum and art gallery of France, in Paris. It was built as a royal residence, begun under Francis I in 1546 on the site of a 12th-century fortress. It ceased to be used as a palace when the court moved to Versailles in 1682, and plans were made in the 18th century to turn it into a public museum. In 1793 the revolutionary government opened the Grand Gallery; Napoleon built the northern wing; and two major western wings were completed and opened by Napoleon III. The completed Louvre included a vast complex of buildings forming two main quadrilaterals and enclosing two large courtyards. A controversial steel-and-glass pyramid entrance designed by I.M. Pei opened in 1989. The painting collection is one of the richest in the world, representing all periods of European art up to Impressionism; its collection of French 15th–19th-century paintings is unsurpassed.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on Louvre Museum, visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up Louvre Museum? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More