The New Student's Reference Work/Louvre

Louvre (lo͞ovr), the greatest of the modern palaces of Paris, lies in the center of the city near the Seine. It is a square of 576 by 538 feet. The first part, the southwest wing, was built in 1541, and the principal part of the great square was completed under Louis XIV. In 1857 the new Louvre, as it was called, was finished in the form of two buildings thrown out at right angles to the galleries which connected the old Louvre with the palace of the Tuileries. The Louvre and Tuileries now form a single palace, covering nearly 60 acres. The eastern front of the Louvre had a row of 28 Corinthian columns, and was considered one of the most beautiful architectural works of any country. The buildings forming the Louvre are used largely as galleries of art; the library was begun under Charles V, who placed the royal collection of books here; and the royal pictures were brought here in 1681. All of the works of art in the palaces were transferred to the Louvre during the Revolution, and thrown open to public inspection. Napoleon's conquests in Italy added great treasures to the collections. Under his architects the museums of ancient art, the Egyptian museum and the council-chamber, afterward used for an art-school and marine museum, were built. Many of the art-treasures brought from Italy were restored. The Louvre suffered from the communists in 1871; the library was burnt, with some of the halls of sculpture and painting.