What do I need to see in the Louvre: paintings and other pieces

22 May 2020
Louvre

What masterpieces are in the Louvre? How can I find them in this huge palace? What do I need to see on my first visit? If you're asking these questions, you clearly want your first trip to the Louvre to be as interesting as possible. We recommend downloading our audio guide for the Louvre, which will take you to all the best masterpieces and share stories and information about them. You can also buy Louvre tickets in advance using this link

The Louvre is at the Palais Royal - Musee du Louvre metro station

The address is Musee du Louvre, 75058 Paris, France. 

It's open from 9 to 6, or to 9:45 on Wednesday and Friday and is closed on Tuesdays. 

Mona Lisa 

Mona Lisa 

Undoubtably the main piece in the Louvre that everyone wants to see is Jocande, or the Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo da Vinci. All the signs in the museum lead to this painting. Mona Lisa's hall was bought by a Japanese TV channel, the Mona Lisa itself is covered in a thick layer of armor, and there are always two guards and a crowd of tourists around it. Remember, you can't see the Mona Lisa anywhere else. The museum administration decided to not send the piece to other museums anymore.

The Mona Lisa is in the Denon part of the museum in the 7th Italian art hall. 

Venus de Milo 

Venus de Milo 

Aphrodite or Venus de Milo is no less famous than the Mona Lisa. The creator is thought to be Alexander of Antioch. She's 164 cm tall and her measurements are 86 x 69 x 93. Venus's famous arms were lost when she was found in 1820. There was a debate between the French who found the sculpture and the Turks who owned the island where the French found it.

Venus de Milo is in the Sully wing of the museum in the 16th hall of Greek, Etruscan and Roman art. 

Winged Victory of Samothrace 

Winged Victory of Samothrace 

Another famous woman is the Winged Victory of Samothrace. This goddess of war lost her head as well as arms. But her confident step and wings were preserved, as well as the feeling of flight.

This sculpture is on the second floor of the Denon wing of the museum, on the stairs between the entrance to the Italian art gallery and the Hall of Apollo. 

Dying slave 

Dying slave 

This statue from the Renaissance is the Dying Slave by Michelangelo. It may not be as famous as the David, but it's still worth your attention.

It's on the first floor, in the Denon wing, in the 4th Italian sculpture hall. You can also see Cupid and Psyche by Canova there. 

Ramesses II 

Ramesses II 

More ancient art, with the statue of the sitting Ramesses II.

The Egyptian pharaoh is on the first floor, in the Sully wing in the 12th hall with the rest of the Ancient Egypt collection. The Louvre has one of the richest collections of Ancient Egypt in the world. 

Hammurabi Stela 

Hammurabi Stela 

The Louvre also has a great collection of monuments from Mesopotamia. The most famous among them is the Hammurabi Stela, which has the world's first written code of laws.

It's on the first floor, in the Richelle wing in the third hall. The neighboring halls house the famous Cour Khorasabad. 

French art 

Coronation of Napoleon

One of the most famous paintings is the Coronation of Napoleon I by the French painter Jacques Louis David. No matter what you think of Napoleon, look at this painting.

It's in the 75th hall of French art on the first floor in the Denon gallery.

You'll also find other famous, monumental paintings from another famous French artist, Eugene Delacroix, like "Liberty leading the people" and "The Death of Marat." 

Lacemaker 

Lacemaker 

Lacemaker is one of the most famous paintings by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. The Louvre doesn't have a large collection of Dutch paintings, but this one is simply wonderful.

It's in the third floor of the Richelieu gallery in the 38th hall in Holland. 

Old Louvre 

You can see the fortress part of the old Louvre by going through the Sully entrance and then down to the basement. The medieval Louvre was destroyed and rebuilt, but the remnants of the old palace whee later found by archeologists, and can now be seen by tourists. It's an amazing sight, this destroyed castle! 

Napoleon III 

Napoleon III 

You can't go to the Louvre without seeing where the last emperor of France, Napoleon III, lived. As a ruler, he lived in a few rooms of the former palace and his rooms have been well preserved. Those rooms are in the Richelieu wing on the second floor. Then you can continue walking through the halls with art from the Empire. 

And don't forget about our audio guide. We'll show you all these pieces and more in just 2 hours. 

» READ MORE - Louvre audio guides in English

The Louvre is so large that you can just pass some pieces by without seeing them! This frequently happens with Italian paintings that are in the same room as the Mona Lisa or near it. For example, across from the Mona Lisa hangs the monumental painting "The Wedding at Cana" by Veronese, and to its sides there are pieces from Tintoretto and Titian. There are several of da Vinci's painting in the Italian art section before the Mona Lisa. You can also find Raphael's "Madonna" and several of Caravaggio's paintings. 

You can download a map of the Louvre here

Remember, you can get tickets by using this link, and so you don't get lost you can order a tour here. Or you can get tickets with an audio guide here

Enjoy your time at the Louvre! 

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