The Louvre’s Entire Collection Goes Online: View and Download 480,00 Works of Art

If you go to Paris, many will advise you, you must go to the Lou­vre; but then, if you go to Paris, as near­ly as many will advise you, you must not go to the Lou­vre. Both rec­om­men­da­tions, of course, had a great deal more rel­e­vance before the glob­al coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic — at this point in which art- and trav­el-lovers would glad­ly endure the infa­mous­ly tir­ing crowd­ed­ness and size of France’s most famous muse­um. But now they, and every­one else around the world, can view the Lou­ve’s art­works online, and not just the ones cur­rent­ly on dis­play: through the new por­tal, they can now view access every sin­gle one of the muse­um’s art­works online.

“For the first time ever,” says last week’s press release, “the entire Lou­vre col­lec­tion is avail­able online, whether works are on dis­play in the muse­um, on long-term loan in oth­er French insti­tu­tions, or in stor­age.”

This includes, accord­ing to the about page of the col­lec­tions’ site, not just the “more than 480,000 works of art that are part of the nation­al col­lec­tions,” but the “so-called ‘MNR’ works (Musées Nationaux Récupéra­tion, or Nation­al Muse­ums Recov­ery), recov­ered after WWII,” and “works on long-term loan from oth­er French or for­eign insti­tu­tions such as the Bib­lio­thèque Nationale de France, the Musée des Arts Déco­rat­ifs, the Petit Palais, the Fonds Nation­al d’Art Con­tem­po­rain, the British Muse­um and the archae­o­log­i­cal muse­um of Her­ak­lion.”

The mas­ter­pieces of the Lou­vre are all there, from Eugène Delacroix’s La Lib­erté guidant le peu­ple and Titian’s La Femme au miroir to the Vénus de Milo and the Great Sphinx of Tanis. But so are an enor­mous num­ber of less­er-known works like a Gio­van­ni Pao­lo Pani­ni view of the Roman forum, an anony­mous 19th-cen­tu­ry Alger­ian land­scape, Hen­drick de Cler­ck­’s Scène de l’his­toire de Psy­ché (among many oth­er Dutch paint­ings), and a pow­der flask amus­ing­ly engraved with human and ani­mal fig­ures, all of them in search of their right­ful own­ers since their retrieval from a defeat­ed Ger­many. You can also explore the Lou­vre’s online col­lec­tions by type of work: draw­ings and engrav­ings, sculp­tures, fur­ni­ture, tex­tiles, jew­el­ry and fin­ery, writ­ing and inscrip­tions, objects, and of course paint­ings. In that last cat­e­go­ry you’ll find the Mona Lisa, view­able more clear­ly than most of us ever have at the phys­i­cal Lou­vre — and down­load­able at that. Enter the col­lec­tion here.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Free Art & Art His­to­ry Cours­es

Take a Long Vir­tu­al Tour of the Lou­vre in Three High-Def­i­n­i­tion Videos

14 Paris Muse­ums Put 300,000 Works of Art Online: Down­load Clas­sics by Mon­et, Cézanne & More

When Pablo Picas­so and Guil­laume Apol­li­naire Were Accused of Steal­ing the Mona Lisa (1911)

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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