For a millennium, the Parisian residence of the French kings has long been the richest collection of masterpieces of world art. It is impossible to view the museum’s exposition in one day, but it’s just one day for an organized tourist to study this museum.
As for the sculpture presented in the museum, the most reasonable thing in the Louvre is to focus on the main masterpieces of plastic, around which the greatest attention of visitors is concentrated. The expositions of the French treasury are arranged in chronological order, in each of the sections there is something that cannot be missed.
The Egyptian Louvre collection is one of the most impressive in the world. But the most outstanding are two works of ancient masters:
- Statue of Ramses the Second - mesmerizes with its accuracy, realism and grandeur. The great conqueror, the winner of the Hittites appears before the audience deliberately severe and calm. The sculpture wonderfully conveys the mood and atmosphere of the harsh time of the great wars and equally great warriors;
- Sculpture of a seated scribe - It is difficult to find a school textbook on the history of the Ancient World, in which there would be no illustration depicting this famous statue. The viewer is struck, first of all, by the unusually lively and spiritualized face of the scribe. In his eyes, devotion and readiness to immediately begin to fulfill their duties. This sculpture is an example of ancient realism..
In this category of the Louvre sculpture primacy belongs Venus of Milos and Nika of Samothrace.
The first is considered the ideal of female ancient beauty. A legend is told about Venus without arms: the sculptor, who was looking for a model for the statue of the goddess of love for a long time, found her on the island of Milos, fell in love with her, and when the statue was ready, the unfortunate lover threw herself into her arms, angry with such an disrespectful attitude towards to her statue, Aphrodite revived the statue, which strangled the unfortunate master. So the author of the great sculpture died, and the latter was left without hands.
The sculpture of Nika of Samothrace is a mystery to sculptors: several attempts were made to restore the statue in its original form - they tried to attach their hands to Nika, but each time the whole sculpture completely lost its dynamism and aspiration upward. Attempts to improve the antique masterpiece were abandoned and today Nika Samofraki appears before the viewer in the form in which it was discovered by archaeologists.
Medieval sculpture is represented in the museum very widely: rough stone Roman crucifixes, gravestones, sculptures that adorned the once ancient churches and monasteries.
In this category, special attention should be paid to the sculpture of Philip Poe's Tombstone. Eight weepers carry on their shoulders the deceased Burgundian nobleman. Despite the nobility of origin and great achievements in life, the name of this knight is known thanks to an unknown master who performed his tombstone with extraordinary reverence and respect for the identity of the customer.
The primacy in the wealth of the collections of this era in Europe belongs, of course, to Italy. However, in the Louvre you can see a number of undoubted masterpieces of the Renaissance.
The main wealth of the museum in this category is Michelangelo’s two famous works: Risen Slave and Dying Slave. Originally intended to decorate the tombs of one of the popes, these works were not included in the final composition. The works are opposite in content: The rebellious slave is full of determination and energy - the viewer is impressed by the dynamics and desperate tension of the figure, imbued with sympathy; dying - apathetic, his refusal of any struggle causes the viewer sorrow and pity. The special handwriting of the great sculptor, his excellent knowledge of the field of anatomy, make his work especially dramatic and realistic.
Baroque, Rococo and Classicism
The styles of 18-19 centuries found their best embodiment in France. That is why, among the masterpieces of the Louvre of this era, sculptures of French masters stand apart.
The sculpture of Cupid and Psyche is decorated with a collection of plastics not only in the Louvre, but also in the Hermitage. It is known that Canova created two identical works with a difference of several years. The Louvre owns an early work.
In addition to this undoubted masterpiece, the halls of the museum are full of excellent sculptures of the 18th and 19th centuries: numerous interior works, a series of sculptural portraits. Great names, great works. This section of the Louvre is unusually extensive.
Tourists are recommended to devote a separate day to the study of Baroque and Classicism halls so as not to get tired of works that are close enough in aesthetics and content.
Unfortunately, the art of modernity and modern sculpture are practically not represented in the Louvre. But in Paris there is a museum entirely dedicated to this period in the history of art.