The Louvre is the largest art museum in the world and is located in France. With annual visitors of around 10 million, it also is the world’s most visited museum. Formerly a royal residence, the Louvre was converted into a museum following the French Revolution. The doors of the museum for the first time were opened on August 10, 1793.
Being the world’s largest and most-visited museum, it is home to over 615,000 works of art today. From Renaissance paintings to sculptures from various art movements, the Louvre has been preserving the essence of many best-known art pieces from the past.
In today’s article, we will guide you through some of the most important portraits that have enhanced the prestige of the Louvre museum. We make sure that this list will provide you with a solid background to improve your Louvre tour experience.
The Mona Lisa – Leonardo Da Vinci
The Louvre is the home to the Mona Lisa, which is arguably the most famous painting in the world. Crafted by the preeminent figure of the Italian Renaissance, Leonardo Da Vinci, the Mona Lisa, has several titles with it. These include, “the best known,” “the most written about,” “the most sung about” and “the most parodied” artwork in the history of art.
Painted in the 16th century, the Mona Lisa’s fame rests in the sitter’s elusive and mysterious smile, and of course, the yet-to-be-known identity of her. Multiple accounts suggest the enchanting portrayal is of Lisa Gherardini, wife of a silk merchant. However, the real identity of the lady in the painting is still a mystery.
In an attempt to perfect the painting, Da Vinci never stopped working on it, even in his end times. Therefore, the Mona Lisa was never delivered to its commissioner. And, today, the painting is a significant portrait in the famous Louvre museum in Paris. Each year millions of admirers come to the museum and wait for their turn to snap a picture with the Mona Lisa.
Man With A Glove – Titian
Italian painter Titian’s name is often joined with some of the finest religious compositions. His works include Position of the tomb and Denarius of Caesar among others. It was at the beginning of the 1500s, Titian got motivated towards the portrait genre, and over the next few decades created some of the best portraits in art history.
“Man With A Glove” is one of Titian’s best portraits, which displays the class and wealthiness of the upper class in pure elegance. The three-quarter portrait of the man wearing a black coat looks very elegant and classy. The leather glove and golden ring in one of the fingers add the elements of richness to the unidentified Renaissance man.
It is also worth noting that the artist has very usefully used a contrasting range of colors. The pale complexion of the young man is greatly visible – thanks to the dark background and clothes.
Created in 1520, the painting was first acquired by Charles I of England in 1627. Later on, the painting was brought for auction and was purchased by Louis XIV of France. Since then, the painting has been gracing the museum since 1792 and is one of the most famous portraits in Louvre.
La Belle Ferronniere – Leonardo Da Vinci
Not just the Mona Lisa, there are numerous other paintings by Leonardo Da Vinci in the most prestigious art museum in the world. One of them is this particular masterpiece – La Belle Ferronniere.
Better known as “Portrait of an Unknown Woman,” the painting portrays a fair woman with black hair wearing a beautiful red dress. Similar to the Mona Lisa, the identity of the lady in this portrait is also very mysterious. Many claimed she was a mistress of King Francis I of France, while others boasted that the lady was the daughter of an ironmonger – thus the name “Ferronniere.”
It is said that the genius artist took six years to complete the painting. Currently, it is proudly hung in the Louvre museum. Another interesting thing about the painting is, a fake version of it was sold for one and a half million to a Leonardo fan in 2010.
Portrait of Louis XIV – Hyacinthe Rigaud
Commissioned by the king himself, this Louvre portrait was painted by Hyacinthe Rigud, to fulfill his grandson’s wish. The portrait presents King Louis XIV of France, an absolute monarch, in his coronation robes. This particular painting is often considered the best portrait by the artist.
With the king in a majestic posture, this portrait represents the power and ideal image of a ruler. The French monarch stands ahead of his throne on upholstery in blue and embroidered with fleur de Lys which makes its portrait picture surreal. Besides all the rich draperies, the picture looks very natural and realistic.
It is said that the king loved the painting so much that he kept the original for himself, hanged in the palace. He sent a copy of the painting to his grandson, for whom the painting was supposedly made, instead of the original.
The Bottom Line
To sum up, these are some of the best-known portraits gracing the walls of the Louvre. These paintings are just a few examples of the awesomeness that you can admire and experience in the Louvre. And you can get museum-like quality reproductions of these masterpieces at 1st Art Gallery.