Millions of people take Louvre Museum private tours to see the world-renowned artworks on display. Musée du Louvre houses more than 30,000 artworks and over 300,000 objects. Besides that, visitors also get to see the glass pyramid by I.M. Pei and the Grand Staircase, and take a dive into the French history and beyond. Yet due to the spaciousness of the former palatial home, it is virtually impossible to see all of the artwork collections in the museum in one go. So below are the top 7 masterpieces in the museum that you should not miss when on Louvre Museum private tours.
Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci
What adds to the mysterious smile of La Gioconda, the woman portrayed in the painting, are the enigmas surrounding Mona Lisa. Mona Lisa was in the news of late for a proposed loan, as part of the Cultural Ministry’s suggestion to include it in the “Grand Tour” project across France, but the museum has reportedly rejected the loan tentatively. Of course, millions peer into Louvre Museum private tours to see the painting of the world-famous Italian painter so the museum knew that loaning it would prove to be costly, hence the rejection.
Winged Victory of Samothrace
A replica of this headless statue, which traces back to Second Century BC, will be erected on Samothrace Island in Greece this summer. However, the original gets to stay permanently in Louvre Museum, as it has been the case since late 19th Century. This bodes well for those who will be on Louvre Museum private tours anytime soon. Of course, the marble sculpture represents an ancient Greek goddess named Nike, so one can understand why the Louvre has given the approval to make its replica to Greece. The winged goddess’s statue is perched on a ship’s prow and depicts a forward motion.
Venus de Milo by Alexandros of Antioch
This statue, alongside Mona Lisa, is amongst the frequented and most frequently photographed works of art displayed in Louvre Museum. Much like Leonardo da Vinci’s painting, this sculpture tracing back to Hellenistic period is also a mysterious artwork. Although, it is believed that the statue is that of Amphitrite, the Greek goddess whom the islanders of Melos had worshipped back in the day. Historians say that the statue traces back to 100 BC, but it has details that are typical of artworks that trace back to 5th Century BC. However, the Louvre Museum lists it as one that traces back to third to first century BC, as the spiral composition of the statue is representative of the architecture of that period.
Dying Slave by Michelangelo
This statue was originally meant for Tomb of Pope Julius II, which was completed by the Italian sculptor Michelangelo in the year 1545. However, since that sculpture was smaller in scale, it could not be fitted into the tomb. The sculpture came to France later, and went on to feature in the Louvre Museum in 1794. Its stance is called “Contrapposto”, which refers to a figure standing on a leg that holds its weight and the other leg that remains lax. This classic pose prompts the shoulders and hips to rest at angles that are opposite and gives a curve to the torso.
Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix
The influence of this 1830 painting was such that it featured on the 100 Franc banknote before the country switched to Euro in 2002. Of course, it depicts a scene from the July Revolution, with Marianne holding the French flag in her right hand and a gun in the left, leading infantrymen over a “human barricade”. You can see this masterpiece painting featured in Delacroix Exhibit, which runs in Musée du Louvre until July 23, 2018. So, if you are on a private Louvre Museum tour until that day, you can catch this and more works by Eugène Delacroix.
Great Sphinx of Tanis
The Egyptian title for a sphinx was “Shesep–Ankh”, which symbolizes the relationship between the sun god, as represented by the body of a lion, and king by the human head. That is exactly what this statue stands for – lion’s body and human’s head. It was excavated in early 1800’s from the remains of Amun Temple at Tanis.
Venus and the Three Graces Presenting Gifts to a Young Woman
This is a fresco, which is a painting done in watercolor on plaster applied freshly on the wall. Its creator, Sandro Botticelli, painted the fresco on the walls of Villa Lemmi. It was discovered in 1873 and entered Louvre Museum nine years later. The fresco painting has been treasured since then and still gets adulation from those on Louvre Museum private tours.