The 2020 pandemic hit everything and everyone very hard. With most parts of the world still battling the COVID-19 virus, lockdowns are imposing stricter measures. The hospitality industry and many popular tourist attractions, such as the Louvre in Paris, have taken the worst beating. But the digital presence of a smart device and Internet access to social media platforms has been a saving grace for many.
Many international festivals have resorted to online streaming to continue their performances. Following suit is the Louvre, with the best-known art collection in the world. With the recent announcement by the museum that it’s going online with its 482,000 works, the gallery is set to wow people all over the world from the comfort of their homes.
The history of the Louvre
The Louvre is the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. It is best known for being the home of such works as the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and Liberty Leading the People. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the city’s 1st arrondissement (district or ward).
Established 228 years ago in the year 1793, the Louvre Museum, or the Louvre, was once a castle built by Philip II in the 12th century that was lost in the urbanization of France. The ancient origins of the place are still visible in the basement of the museum. Francis I converted the fortress into the primary residence for French kings in 1546. It was during the French Revolution that the castle of Louvre became the Louvre Museum.
August 10, 1793, was a historic day for connoisseurs of art. It was the day that the Louvre was officially launched as a museum with an exhibition of 537 paintings. While the actual numbers of relics housed in the place were high, most were the property of royalty or the church.
During the reign of Napoleon, the museum saw an increase in the collection, but once he abdicated, his collection was returned to the original owners. Later, during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X and the Second French Empire, the museum gained possession of 20,000 more pieces. Today, a staggering 482,000 works of art are displayed.
Enjoying the masterpieces
Heading to the official website of the Louvre, you can check out the collection and even view the Mona Lisa. No rushing crowds, no security hustling you, just you and one of Leo da Vinci’s greatest works. Fancy looking at the Venus de Milo by simply searching for it on the website. And it is not just paintings that are on public display. You can check out various artifacts and sculptures.
If you are a fan of the Egyptian collection, browse all you want on the website. Textiles, jewelry, furniture, whatever catches your fancy, you can head to the particular section and go through the entire collection.
You can also check out the themed albums to have a better understanding of the ways certain pieces connect with each other. Items pertaining to a major historical event or royal heritage are displayed accordingly to narrate a visual story. You can also make use of the interactive navigation map on the website that lets you take a virtual tour of each room of the museum.
A visit to the Louvre is a must on many people’s Paris travel itinerary. Travel today might be restricted, but connecting with the world is not. And art, like any other form of creative expression, should not be stowed away but should be accessible to all.