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Over 8 million visitors flock to the Louvre each year, making this Parisian art repository the most visited museum in the world. With 60,600 square meters (or 652,300 square feet) of exhibition space, the Louvre displays 35,000 works of art, spanning from the late prehistoric era to the mid-19th century.
As soon as they enter the museum, most visitors make a beeline for the Louvre’s main attractions: the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and the Winged Victory are amongst the most popular of the museum’s offerings. The route to these artistic gems are well sign-posted along the Louvre’s lengthy labyrinth of hallways and rooms that stretch across 4 expansive floors.
However, with such an extensive offering of art, the Louvre offers myriad lesser-known treasures that are captivating in their own right.
For instance, amidst the seemingly endless slew of iconographic Christian paintings, the “Allegorie Chretienne” by Jan Provost offers a more compelling depiction of the Christian allegory, in a style that seems to more closely resemble a cross between Surrealism and contemporary collage, rather than the stereotypical Christian paintings that were being produced at the same time nearly 500 years ago.
Even those who adored the heavy metal “hair bands” of the 1980s will find a piece of art at the Louvre that strikes a chord: Jean-Baptiste Jouvenet’s painting “Le medecin Raymond Finot” is a charming portrait from the early 1700s that depicts a dignified man with an impressive bouffant, a flowing cascade of well-painted curls swirling around his shoulders.
Although the Louvre boasts some of the world’s most celebrated works of art, it also contains endless wonders for those who look beyond the ordinary crowd-pleasers to take a closer survey of the rich variety of art that the Louvre has to offer.