Today we are taking you all the way over to Paris to visit the Louvre or the Musee du Louvre as it is called today. We are sure that you guys must know that the Louvre is the biggest museum in the world and also one of the most visited. The building was previously a fortress that was built under the rule of Philip II at the end of the 12th century. It was in the 17th century, more than 200 years ago, under the rule of Louis XIV that the place started displaying the royal collection. It was later in 1793 that the fortress was converted into the Museum Central des Arts and the first exhibition was of over 500 paintings. To date the museum has a collection of over 35,000 pieces of the most important art work and we bring to you the top ten paintings in the Louvre.
10. Mona Lisa b Leonardo da Vinci (1503-1506)
The first and the foremost entry on our list of top ten paintings in the Louvre is obviously the famous Mona Lisa. This beautiful painting by Leonardo da Vinci has already been discussed a lot but we mentioned her here just in case some people weren’t aware that the original hangs in the famous Louvre. No city can more justice to the painting than Paris.
9. The Moneylender and his Wife by Quentin Metsys (1514)
Next up on our list of top ten paintings in the Louvre is the Moneylender and his wife. This painting was completed by Quentin Metsys in 1514 and depicts a miser man who likes to lend money that his wife saves. It is in line with the contemporary religious practices of the subject and tries to focus on exalting honesty and to avoid avarice. It is unbelievable that a painting can be so in-depth and amazing.
8. The Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon I and the Coronation of Empress Josephine in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris on 2 December 1804 by Jacques-Louis David (1806-1807)
This next painting on list of top ten paintings in the Louvre just takes you in so deep it is unbelievable. Do you guys see how catchy the red capes of the characters look? The Emperor and the Empress? The details are magical and we believe the whole setting that this painting is based upon, the consecration of the Emperor Napoleon I and the Coronation of Empress Josephine in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris on 2nd December 1804, must also have been a star studded affair. All we can say is that Jacques-Louis has done justice to the setting and you can take a glimpse of this marvel of a painting at the Louvre.
7. Portrait of an Old Man and a Young Boy by Domenico Ghirlandaio (ca. 1840)
The perfect image for this amazing painting was slightly difficult to find but we have done our best to show you what the painting looks like. It certainly qualifies as one of the top paintings on display in the museum, the place you can visit if you want a closer more up close and personal look at it (cheeky pun fully intended).
6. Louis XIV (1638-1715) by Hyacinthe Rigaud
We next have the portrait of Louis XIV, the man under whose rule the museum started displaying the royal collection in the first place. So it all but makes sense that his portrait, done by Hyacinthe Rigaud, would be hanging in the Louvre.
5. Death of the Virgin by Michelangelo Merisi known as Caravaggio (1601-1605)
This next painting on our list of top ten paintings in the Louvre is by Caravaggio and this painting also qualifies as one of the most common of subjects in Western Christian art. It was initially commissioned to hang in the church of Santa Maria della Scala in Rome. Later on, however, the monks at the church considered it unworthy of the church and now it hangs at the Louvre.
4. The Young Martyr by Paul Delaroche (1855)
Next up on our list of the top ten paintings in the Louvre is the Young Martyr by Paul Delaroche. It is an oil painting which is currently on display in the Denon Wing at the Louvre. This oil painting is basically a depiction (and a very beautiful at that) of a female Christian Martyr who lost her life during the reign of the Emperor of the time. This was the last painting that Paul Delaroche because the painter passed away in 1856, a year after completing the painting.
3. The Lacemaker by Johannes Vermeer (1669-1670)
The next painting on our list of top ten paintings in the Louvre is the Lacemaker by the Dutch painteer Vermeer. This painting of a porcelain doll like girl is one of the smallest paintings by the artist. The canvas has been cut out of a special material used by the artist and the background, it appears, has been kept plain so as to keep the focus on the abstract factor of the painting itself. Well needless to say, the plain background does its job perfectly.
2. The Virgin of the Rocks by Leonardo da Vinci (1483-1486)
This next painting by Leonardo da Vinci is also one of the most beautiful, controversial and amazing paintings of all times. So much has already been said and written about this painting that we decide to say nothing at all apart from how you can go and see the painting at the Louvre and give your eyes are treat for a change.
1. Pyramide du Louvre
The last entry on our list of the top ten paintings is actually not a painting but a masterpiece by I.M. Pei, the glass pyramid at the entrance to the Louvre. If you guys have had the chance to read the last symbol by Dan Brown then you all must be aware that the glass pyramid is pretty controversial amongst the French people. You are damned if you like and appreciate it, you are damned if you hate and you are equally damned if you are indifferent to it. The glass pyramid was built on the instruction of President Mitterand and was open to public on 30th March, 1989. One thing that is certainly appreciable is that the heavily congested underground entrance now has an alternative.