Beauty and power

The Louvre through history
by
January–February 2021, no. 428
Buy this book

The Louvre: The many lives of the world’s most famous museum by James Gardner

Grove Press, $39.99 hb, 416 pp

Beauty and power

The Louvre through history
by
January–February 2021, no. 428

Although most of the ten million annual visitors to the Louvre think of it as an art museum and former royal palace, for much of its history it has performed other functions. The Louvre has also played a defining role in many events in French history. Its raison d’être in the Middle Ages was as a fortification in the then most westerly part of Paris. Transformed into a royal palace during the sixteenth century, it has undergone more than twenty different extensions and renovations under successive rulers and administrations, emerging as the behemoth we know today. Surprisingly for a building that so much embodies Paris and feels so permanent, much of the Louvre was created during the third quarter of the nineteenth century under Napoleon III, when it was almost doubled in size and given its external ‘dizzying opulence’, as James Gardner describes it in this new book.

Christopher Menz reviews 'The Louvre: The many lives of the world’s most famous museum' by James Gardner

The Louvre: The many lives of the world’s most famous museum

by James Gardner

Grove Press, $39.99 hb, 416 pp

Buy this book

From the New Issue

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.