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Greatest Art Museums of the World




               Grand Louvre


Paris, France

The Louvre is located on the bank of the Seine River, Paris, France. Originally constructed as the fortress of Philippe Auguste in 1190, Charles V oversaw the first modernisation process (r. 1364-1380) which resulted in what was to be the beginnings of one of the largest palace complexes in the world. Then there began a set of many additions and renovations over the next three centuries until Louis XIV, in 1674, put an end to construction at the Louvre and made Versailles the official residence of the French monarch. Versailles remained thus until the Revolution, and the Louvre ceased to symbolise the French monarchy.


In 1699, the Grande Gallerie of the Louvre was utilised for a public art exhibition. The success of this lead to further exhibitions which from 1725 were regularly held in the Grande Salon at the end of the Grande Gallerie, thus the name 'Salon' became connected with such events. In a 1765 public opinion, and suggestions from the writers of the time, there was a leading to the Louvre being earmarked to become a Palace of Arts and Sciences. It was not until after the Revolution in August 1793 that the Louvre museum was established by the French Republic .


Today the Louvre houses more than 6000 European paintings dating from the 13th century to the19th century. Its largest collection is of prints and drawings with an inventory of 130000. Other collections include Islamic art , Oriental Antiquities, Egyptian Antiquities, and Greek Antiquities with pieces that date back as far as the seventh millenium B.C.


The significance of this great art museum cannot be understated. It has absorbed and reflects the centuries of change in the political and social environment in which it has played many roles. It has become a symbol of art and a mecca for artists and art lovers alike. Indeed the Louvre "embodies for the vast public the very concept of the term 'museum' "




Vaticans Museums


Vatican City, Rome, Italy

The Vatican Museums contain masterpieces of painting, sculpture and other works of art collected by the popes through the centuries. The Museums include several monumental works of art, such as the Sistine Chapel, the Chapel of Beato Angelico, the Raphael Rooms and Loggia and the Borgia Apartment.

The Pinacoteca, or Picture Gallery, is situated in a building that dates back to 1932 and that was designed by the architect Beltrami. It is connected to the Museum complex (at the entrance of the Quattro Cancelli) by an elegant portico. The Christian, Profane and Missionary-Ethnological Museum contains a collection of artistic and archaeological objects, some of an ethnological nature, that were once housed in the Lateran Palace.

The Collection of Modern Religious Art was added to the Museums in 1973. The History Museum is located in the Lateran Palace and includes, among other things, items that belonged to the Pontifical Military Corps.

The Museums are usually open to the public every weekday morning and in the early afternoon in summer. Entry is free on the last Sunday of every month. The entrance to the Museums is on Viale Vaticano, near Piazza Risorgimento.
A Workshop for Restoring paintings, bronzes, marble, tapestries and other items, is part of the Museums which also includes a Scientific Research Laboratory.






Metropolitan Museum of Art

Manhattan, New York

Metropolitan Museum of Art New York City, founded in 1870. The Metropolitan Museum is the foremost repository of art in the United States and one of the world's great museums. It opened in 1880 on its present site on Central Park facing Fifth Ave. The original Gothic Revival-style building was designed by Calvert Vaux and J. W. Mould and expanded by Richard Morris Hunt and by McKim, Mead, and White during the early 1900s. The present facade and entrance structure was completed in 1926. The museum is owned by the city, which contributes to its upkeep, but otherwise it is supported by private endowment and income from memberships and admissions.

The museum's most outstanding collections include European paintings and sculpture of the Renaissance, baroque, and modern periods; pastels; watercolors; miniatures; a vast number of drawings and graphic art works; and armor. Much of the museum's remarkable medieval art collection is housed in the Cloisters , a separate building in northern Manhattan erected from various medieval components in 1938. The American Wing houses one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of the nation's art. The print collection includes woodcuts and engravings, dating from the 15th cent., as well as etchings, lithographs, and graphic works in other media.

The museum's hundreds of examples of Greek pottery and its Greek and Roman sculptures are among the finest such collections in the world. The extensive Egyptian collection has objects dating from 30,000 BC to AD 641 and architectural monuments including the mastaba of Perneb (erected c.2460 BC) and the Temple of Dendur (c.15 BC). There also are fine collections of Middle Eastern and Asian art, the Michael C. Rockefeller collection of primitive art, a wing devoted to 20th-century art, and an important exhibition of antique and primitive musical instruments. The Costume Institute provides a source of inspiration and reference for designers through its collection of authentic costumes and accessories, international in scope and covering four centuries.











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