The Louvre is the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, and is best known for being the home of the *Mona Lisa. The Musée du Louvre owns 615,797 objects of which 482,943 are accessible online since 24 March 2021 and displays 35,000 works of art in eight curatorial departments.
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The museum is housed in the *Louvre Palace, originally built in the late 12th to 13th century under Philip II. Remnants of the Medieval Louvre fortress are visible in the basement of the museum.
The use of cameras and video recorders is permitted inside, but flash photography is forbidden.
Egyptian antiquities. The department, comprising over 50,000 pieces, includes artifacts from the Nile civilizations which date from 4,000 BC to the 4th century AD. The collection, among the world’s largest, overviews Egyptian life spanning Ancient Egypt, the Middle Kingdom, the New Kingdom, Coptic art, and the Roman, Ptolemaic, and Byzantine periods. >> *Department of Egyptian Antiquities of the Louvre
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Painting. The painting collection has more than 7,500 works from the 13th century to 1848 and is managed by 12 curators who oversee the collection’s display. >> *Catalog of paintings in the Louvre Museum
Prints and drawings. The collection is organized into three sections: the core Cabinet du Roi, 14,000 royal copper printing-plates, and the donations of Edmond de Rothschild, which include 40,000 prints, 3,000 drawings, and 5,000 illustrated books.
Sculptures. The sculpture department comprises work created before 1850 that does not belong in the Etruscan, Greek, and Roman department. >> *List of works in the Louvre
Decorative arts. The Objets d’art collection spans the time from the Middle Ages to the mid-19th century. The department began as a subset of the sculpture department, based on royal property and the transfer of work from the Basilique Saint-Denis (map), the burial ground of French monarchs that held the Coronation Sword of the Kings of France.
Near Eastern antiquities. Near Eastern antiquities, the second newest department, dates from 1881 and presents an overview of early Near Eastern civilization and “first settlements”, before the arrival of Islam. The department is divided into three geographic areas: the Levant, Mesopotamia (Iraq), and Persia (Iran).
Greek, Etruscan, and Roman. The Greek, Etruscan, and Roman department displays pieces from the Mediterranean Basin dating from the Neolithic to the 6th century. The collection spans from the Cycladic period to the decline of the Roman Empire. This department is one of the museum’s oldest; it began with appropriated royal art, some of which was acquired under Francis I.
Islamic art. The Islamic art collection, the museum’s newest, spans “thirteen centuries and three continents”. These exhibits, comprising ceramics, glass, metalware, wood, ivory, carpet, textiles, and miniatures, include more than 5,000 works and 1,000 shards.