The Louvre Museum in Paris is the probably the most famous and largest art museum in the world!
The museum has approximately 6000 paintings and and was
originally designed as a palace. It has been influenced
by major events in French history and has experienced
changes and additions to the original structure by many
architects and decorators. When the Orsay museum was created
in 1986, most of the post 1848 works left the Louvre and
were transferred to the new museum which is close by.
The museum presents the main part of its treasures to visitors, in the new Richelieu wing, islamic art collections, oriental antiques, French sculptures, objets d'art,French paintings & paintings from the Northern school (including Rubens).
Let's not forget, the ever so famous masterpieces:the Venus of Milo, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, the Mona Lisa by Leonard da Vinci, and so many others.
The Louvre was built on the site of a medieval fortress on the banks of the Seine river. It was used as the official residence of the French Kings during the 16th and 17th centuries before the Court moved to Versailles in 1682. Its collection, which ranges from Egyptian art of 5000 BC to nineteenth-century work, is divided into seven departments: Oriental and Islamic Antiquities; Egyptian Antiquities; Greek, Roman and Etruscan Antiquities; Painting; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; and Graphic Arts.
Throughout the 17th century, as Paris assumed a dominant role in Europe, the Louvre's holdings increased dramatically. Particularly important acquisitions during this period were major works by the great Dutch and Flemish masters. In the 18th century the annual salon exhibitions were established. The first state museum was opened in the Louvre in 1793. The central position held by the Louvre in the artistic life was magnified by Napoleon I, who began its Egyptian collection. The overall museum complex was completed under Napoleon III (1852-70). Subsequently, the Louvre expanded its collections greatly through gifts and bequests. Its departments now include Oriental (ancient Mesopotamian), Greek and Roman, and Egyptian antiquities; sculptures from the Middle Age to modern times; furniture and objets d'art; and European paintings and drawings.
The relaxing Tuileries garden near by the Louvre museum is one of the most beautiful parks in Paris. Altogether a first class combination well worth a full day of your time.