A rich assortment of artwork from different parts of the world adorns the Musée du Louvre, Paris. Works from a broad span of time, Prehistoric Period to mid-nineteenth century, enhance diversity of the permanent collection. The erstwhile fortress and the home of royalty the Louvre was transformed into a museum in the late eighteenth century. And, the building has been renovated many times and improvements are on going.
photo by K_Dafalias
Recently, the museum has initiated a “national treasure” campaign to collect funds for buying Les Trois Graces (Three Graces), a sixteenth century painting worth four million euros. Mysterious and sensual portrayal of three naked young women (Three Graces) by Lucas Cranach the Elder, the German artist, makes it very special. The three graces represent three Greek goddesses, Aglaia, Euphrosyne and Thalia, who are a symbol of beauty, charm and creativity.
The museum already has many exhibits focusing on three graces. “Venus and the Three Graces Presenting Gifts to a Young Woman” is a fresco painted in the 15 -16 centuries in Florence. Jacques Blanchard painted “Venus and the Three Graces Surprised by a Mortal”. “The Three Graces” by Regnault is another sensual portrayal of the graces. This mythological theme is also reflected in decorative art objects such as “Clock: the Three Graces”, a white marble gilded bronze, which is currently not on public display. Some artists painted the graces individually instead of in a group of three.
A new Louvre, Louvre Abu Dhabi, is being built in the Saadiyat Island Cultural District, Abu Dhabi and will complete in 2013. Although high standards and values of the Paris Louvre will be followed, the new museum will not be a replica of it. The Louvre Abu Dhabi acquired rights to use the name Louvre for three decades. The French museum will also loan its exhibits to Abu Dhabi museum for one decade.
Its world-famous three artworks draw huge crowd daily: The Mona Lisa by Leonardo Vinci; The Victory of Samothrace, a statue of Greek goddesses (The Victory- Nike) discovered on the Samothrace Island; and The Venus de Milo, a statue of the Roman Venus- the goddess of beauty and love. However, the museum treasure trove is divided into eight departments: Decorative Arts, Egyptian Antiquities, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Islamic Art, Near Eastern Amenities, Paintings and Prints and Drawings. The subject of artwork varies from simple daily use items like spoon to mythology to intriguing philosophy. You, thus, need lots of time to browse through the entire collection. So plan accordingly.
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