Originally the home of the monarchs of France, the Louvre was converted into a museum. It is a work of art itself and not to be overlooked. Napoleon Bonaparte collected works of art throughout his European campaign conquests and had them shipped home. Many were returned, but other rulers of France purchased additional pieces that remain on display. Here are a few for your viewing enjoyment. However, be aware that photographs of the originals don't do them justice. You really must see them in person. Be patient, this takes about thirty seconds to load.
Venus de Milo (Aphrodite), c. 100 B.C.
The sculptor is unknown and the date of her carving is only surmised but she is one of the most famous ladies in the world. The French named her Venus de Milo.
In 1820 a peasant named Yorgos found her broken body in an underground cavern on the Aegean island of Melos. He knew that such treasures of antiquity were to be turned over to the Turkish authorities but for a time he hid her lovely beauty in his barn. The secret was disclosed, and officials took her from him and loaded her onto a Turkish vessel.
Somehow she was transferred to a French frigate off the coast of Melos; the Turkish official was publicly whipped, the French said it was a legitimate purchase, and she who was destined to become famous sailed away to France.
The Winged Victory of Samothrace (Victoire de Samothrace). This Statute of a woman with wings once stood on a hilltop to commemorate a great naval victory. You may remember seeing her in a famous Audrey Hepburn movie, Funny Face. Audrey ran down the stairs in front of the statue saying, "Take the picture, take the picture," while Fred Astaire snapped it.
Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet worked closely together during the late 1860s, painting similar scenes of popular river resorts and views of a bustling Paris. Renoir was particularly entranced by people and often painted friends and lovers. This is a picture of Two Girls Reading. The photo does not do it justice.
The Louvre was originally the palace for the kings of France. Part of the Louvre has been restored to represent what it was like when Napoleon III lived there. They call this part of the Louvre "Napoleon's Apartment." This first picture is the main entrance hall to the apartment.
Of course they needed a lot of jewelry to be able to entertain everyone properly. They had this large chest made to store the jewelry but found that it was too small and had two smaller ones made for the rest of the jewelry.
These are portraits of Napoleon I, Napoleon III, and the wife of Napoleon III.