The Musée du Louvre is widely regarded as the world’s best museum. It has so much history, so many artworks and gorgeous palatial rooms. The Louvre Museum is so incredibly big that appreciating every single artwork in it in a week would be virtually impossible.
There are lots of guides online telling you which works to see, but how frequently have you come across suggestions for which Louvre Museum rooms to visit? Of course, these rooms not only have incredible artworks on display but also have stunning architecture.
In this list, we will tell you where to find each space here and what is so special about it. The building layout can be slightly confusing even for those who have been on many Louvre Museum tours. So be sure to get a map of the palatial building before heading into one of its wings.
Remember that the French people use a different system to number floor levels. The ground floor is level 0, the floor above it is level 1, etc. When you first get into the Musée du Louvre’s central foyer, you will be on the Level -2, meaning two floors underground. In the event you get lost, do not be afraid to seek directions from a museum guard.
Large-Format French Paintings Gallery
The rooms 75, 76 and 77 on the first level of the Denon Wing have on display nineteenth-century paintings. If you have ever opened a book on art history or taken a course on art appreciation, you will likely recognize several works displayed in this gallery. The paintings hung on the walls here are astounding, and the architecture is stunning.
The size of paintings alone is amazing, with some canvases being 6 by 9.7 meters, like “The Coronation of Napoleon I”. Other highlights include “Oath of the Horatii” and “Liberty Leading the People”. We recommend you to take a Louvre Guided tour or using an audio guide to understand the historical significance of these famous artworks. If you can grasp the context and the stories symbolically conveyed in these paintings, then you will appreciate these better.
A sculpture titled the “Winged Victory of Samothrace” sits atop the Daru Staircase. The sculpture of Nike will appeal to those who pass by the area at the Denon Wing because it is headless and the only artwork in this expansive space. You can see the sculpture at a distance from the adjacent room, and it is goosebump-inducing work. No picture is as good as it, and when looking at it, an art lover can almost envision fabric that ripple in the breeze as the headless figure stands at the top of the front part of a boat. Do not forget to go through the fascinating story of how the sculpture was discovered on the information plaque nearby.
Cour Puget and Cour Marly
These are two glass-covered courtyards on level 1 of the Richelieu Wing. These are covered fully by glass ceilings, which let in plenty of natural light to the space. Each Louvre court is interspersed with some trees, making it feel more of a garden setting than a museum environment. Besides, each one has white marble sculptures, which look best under the natural light. If you feel a tad overwhelmed by the ornate galleries and regal paintings at the museum, then come here. There are plenty of benches here and your feet will probably most appreciate some rest.
Napoleon III Apartments (Grand Salon)
Visit Room 87 at the Richelieu Wing to surround yourself in the ornate and regal interior. The Louvre Museum is a former royal palace, something which you will most realize when here. After seeing paintings in galleries and sculptures placed against neutral colored walls and having a break, entering the living room of Napoleon III will come as a visual shock. The Grand Salon is covered in crimson-hued upholstery and dripping with gold. If you have been to the Palace of Versailles, this salon will evoke comparisons between this and that.
The beautiful painting of the wife of Napoleon III and the French empress Eugénie is hung on a wall, and the adjoining dining room is very impressive.
This is one of those staircases, whose look brings to mind the prints by Dutch graphic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher. These prints have bizarre conceptual and optical effects. Think intersecting staircases, which somehow perfectly blend into others – you cannot figure out where one staircase ends and another starts. That is how Lefuel Staircase feels, with many columns, levels and arches crisscrossing over each other in a stunning assemblage of marble. It can be slightly tricky to find this room; if you get lost, feel free to ask a Louvre Museum employee for directions.