The Louvre, or the Louvre Museum, is the world's largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the city's 1st arrondissement. 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 72,735 square metres. In 2018, the Louvre was the world's most visited art museum; the museum is housed in the Louvre Palace built as the Louvre castle in the late 12th to 13th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. Due to the urban expansion of the city, the fortress lost its defensive function and, in 1546, was converted by Francis I into the main residence of the French Kings; the building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre as a place to display the royal collection, from 1692, a collection of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. In 1692, the building was occupied by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres and the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which in 1699 held the first of a series of salons.
The Académie remained at the Louvre for 100 years. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum to display the nation's masterpieces; the museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property. Because of structural problems with the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801; the collection was increased under Napoleon and the museum was renamed Musée Napoléon, but after Napoleon's abdication many works seized by his armies were returned to their original owners. The collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, during the Second French Empire the museum gained 20,000 pieces. Holdings have grown through donations and bequests since the Third Republic; the collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities. The Louvre Palace, which houses the museum, was begun as a fortress by Philip II in the 12th century to protect the city from English soldiers which were in Normandy.
Remnants of this castle are still visible in the crypt. Whether this was the first building on that spot is not known. According to the authoritative Grand Larousse encyclopédique, the name derives from an association with wolf hunting den. In the 7th century, St. Fare, an abbess in Meaux, left part of her "Villa called Luvra situated in the region of Paris" to a monastery.. The Louvre Palace was altered throughout the Middle Ages. In the 14th century, Charles V converted the building into a residence and in 1546, Francis I renovated the site in French Renaissance style. Francis acquired what would become the nucleus of the Louvre's holdings, his acquisitions including Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. After Louis XIV chose Versailles as his residence in 1682, constructions slowed. Four generations of Boulle were granted Royal patronage and resided in the Louvre in the following order: Pierre Boulle, Jean Boulle, Andre-Charles Boulle and his four sons, after him. André-Charles Boulle is the most famous French cabinetmaker and the preeminent artist in the field of marquetry known as "Inlay".
Boulle was "the most remarkable of all French cabinetmakers". He was commended to Louis XIV of France, the "Sun King", by Jean-Baptiste Colbert as being "the most skilled craftsman in his profession". Before the fire of 1720 destroyed them, André-Charles Boulle held priceless works of art in the Louvre, including forty-eight drawings by Raphael'. By the mid-18th century there were an increasing number of proposals to create a public gallery, with the art critic La Font de Saint-Yenne publishing, in 1747, a call for a display of the royal collection. On 14 October 1750, Louis XV agreed and sanctioned a display of 96 pieces from the royal collection, mounted in the Galerie royale de peinture of the Luxembourg Palace. A hall was opened by Le Normant de Tournehem and the Marquis de Marigny for public viewing of the Tableaux du Roy on Wednesdays and Saturdays, contained Andrea del Sarto's Charity and works by Raphael. Under Louis XVI, the royal museum idea became policy; the comte d'Angiviller broadened the collection and in 1776 proposed conversion of the Grande Galerie of the Louvre – which contained maps – into the "French Museum".
Many proposals were offered for the Louvre's renovation into a museum. Hence the museum remained incomplete until the French Revolution. During the French Revolution the Louvre was transformed into a public museum. In May 1791, the Assembly declared that the Louvre would be "a place for bringing together monuments of all the sciences and arts". On 10 August 1792, Louis XVI was imprisoned and the royal collection i
Giovanni Battista Belzoni
Giovanni Battista Belzoni, sometimes known as The Great Belzoni, was a prolific Italian explorer and pioneer archaeologist of Egyptian antiquities. He is known for his removal to England of the seven-tonne bust of Ramesses II, the clearing of sand from the entrance of the great temple at Abu Simbel, the discovery and documentation of the tomb of Seti I, the first to penetrate into the second pyramid of Giza. Belzoni was born in Padua, his father was a barber. His family was from Rome and when Belzoni was 16 he went to work there, saying that he studied hydraulics, he intended taking monastic vows, but in 1798 the occupation of the city by French troops drove him from Rome and changed his proposed career. In 1800 he moved to the Netherlands. In 1803 he fled to England to avoid being sent to jail. There he married Sarah Bane. Belzoni was a tall man at 6 feet 7 inches tall and they both joined a travelling circus, they were for some time compelled to find subsistence by performing exhibitions of feats of strength and agility as a strongman at fairs and on the streets of London.
In 1804 he appears engaged at the circus at Astley's amphitheatre at a variety of performances. Belzoni had an interest in phantasmagoria and experimented with the use of magic lanterns in his shows. In 1812 he left England and after a tour of performances in Spain and Sicily, he went to Malta in 1815 where he met Ismael Gibraltar, an emissary of Muhammad Ali, who at the time was undertaking a programme of agrarian land reclamation and important irrigation works. Belzoni wanted to show Muhammad Ali a hydraulic machine of his own invention for raising the waters of the Nile. Though the experiment with this engine was successful, the project was not approved by the pasha. Belzoni, now without a job, was resolved to continue his travels. On the recommendation of the orientalist J. L. Burckhardt he was sent by Henry Salt, the British consul to Egypt, to the Ramesseum at Thebes, from where he removed with great skill the colossal bust of Ramesses II called "the Young Memnon". Shipped by Belzoni to England, this piece is still on prominent display at the British Museum.
This weighed over 7 tons. It took 130 men to tow it to the river, he used levers to lift it onto rollers. He had his men distributed with 4 ropes drag it on the rollers. On the first day he only covered a few yards, the second he covered 50 yards deliberately breaking the bases of 2 columns to clear the way for his burden. After 150 yards, it sank into the sand, a detour of 300 yards on firmer ground was necessary. From there, it got a little easier, and, on 12 August, he made it to the river where he was able to load it on a boat for shipment to the British Museum in London, his excavation and removal of the Young Memnon and other stones during this expedition was explicitly authorized by a firman from Muhammad Ali himself, the Pasha of Egypt. He expanded his investigations to the great temple of Edfu, visited Elephantine and Philae, cleared the great temple at Abu Simbel of sand, made excavations at Karnak, opened up the sepulchre of Seti I, he was the first to penetrate into the second pyramid of Giza, the first European in modern times to visit the oasis of Bahariya.
He identified the ruins of Berenice on the Red Sea. In 1819 he returned to England and published an account of his travels and discoveries entitled Narrative of the Operations and Recent Discoveries within the Pyramids, Temples and Excavations in Egypt and Nubia, &c the following year. During 1820 and 1821 he exhibited facsimiles of the tomb of Seti I; the exhibition was held at the Egyptian Hall, London. In 1822 Belzoni showed his model in Paris. In 1823 he set out for West Africa. Having been refused permission to pass through Morocco, he chose the Guinea Coast route, he reached the Kingdom of Benin, but was seized with dysentery at a village called Gwato, died there. According to the celebrated traveller Richard Francis Burton he was robbed. In 1829 his widow published his drawings of the royal tombs at Thebes. A medal depicting a profile of Belzoni created by William Brockedon was cast in 1821 by Sir Edward Thomason. Belzoni's friend Sir Francis Ronalds had introduced subject. Years in 1859 in Padua, Ronalds advised sculptor Rinaldo Rinaldi on the large medallion he was creating to commemorate Belzoni in his hometown.
Belzoni was portrayed by Matthew Kelly in the 2005 BBC docudrama Egypt. Alberto Siliotti has done the unique scholarly edition of his travels and it has been the subject of the Horus expedition in 1988. Horace Smith, a poet in the circle of Percy Bysshe Shelley, wrote " Address to the Mummy in Belzoni's Exhibition." List of megalithic sites Howard Carter Flinders Petrie Anastasini Circus Lane-Poole, Stanley. "Belzoni, Giovanni Baptista". In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography. 4. London: Smith, Elder & Co; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Belzoni, Giovanni Battista". Encyclopædia Britannica. 3. Cambridge University Press. Catholic Encyclopedia article 2001, Belzoni’s Travels, by Alberto Siliotti, The British Museum Press, ISBN 0-7141-1940-7 Mayes, Stanley; the Great Belzoni: The Circus Strongman Who Discovered Egypt`s Treasures. Tauris Parke Paperbacks. ISBN 978-1-84511-333-9 N
Tomb KV16 is located in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. It was used for the burial of Pharaoh Ramesses I of the Nineteenth Dynasty; the burial place was discovered by Giovanni Belzoni in October 1817. As Ramesses I ruled for less than two years, his sepulchre is rather truncated, being only twenty-nine metres long, it consists of two descending staircases, linking a sloping corridor and leading to the burial chamber. Like the tomb of Horemheb, the grave is decorated with the Book of Gates; the sarcophagus, still in place in the final chamber, is constructed of red quartzite. Reeves, N & Wilkinson, R. H; the Complete Valley of the Kings, 1996, Thames and Hudson, London. Siliotti, A. Guide to the Valley of the Kings and to the Theban Necropolises and Temples, 1996, A. A. Gaddis, Cairo. Theban Mapping Project: KV16 - Includes description and plans of the tomb
Tomb KV19, located in a side branch of Egypt's Valley of the Kings, was intended as the burial place of Prince Ramesses Sethherkhepshef, better known as Pharaoh Ramesses VIII, but was used for the burial of Prince Mentuherkhepshef instead, the son of Ramesses IX, who predeceased his father. The first corridor was still incomplete when work was abandoned, the tomb was used "as is." The tomb decorations show the tomb owner being escorted by his father and presented to several deities, including Osiris, Khonsu and Ptah. What decoration which remains in this corridor is considered to be of the highest quality. Reeves, N & Wilkinson, R. H; the Complete Valley of the Kings, 1996, Thames and Hudson, London. Siliotti, A. Guide to the Valley of the Kings and to the Theban Necropolises and Temples, 1996, A. A. Gaddis, Cairo. Media related to KV19 at Wikimedia Commons Theban Mapping Project: KV19 - Includes description and plans of the tomb
Tomb KV11 is the tomb of Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses III. Located in the main valley of the Valley of the Kings, the tomb was started by Setnakhte, but abandoned when it broke into the earlier tomb of Amenmesse. Setnakhte was buried in KV14; the tomb KV11 was restarted and extended and on a different axis for Ramesses III. The tomb has been open since antiquity, has been known variously as Bruce's Tomb and The Harper's Tomb; the 188-metre-long tomb is beautifully decorated. The second corridor is decorated with the Litany of Re. At the end of this corridor the axis of the tomb shifts; this third corridor is decorated with the Book of Gates and the Book of Amduat, leads over a ritual shaft, into a four-pillared hall. This hall is again decorated with the Book of Gates. A fourth corridor (decorated with scenes of the opening of the mouth ceremony and leads into a vestibule, with scenes of the Book of the Dead, into the burial chamber proper; the burial chamber is an eight-pillared hall in. This chamber is decorated with Book of divine scenes and the Book of the Earth.
Beyond this is a further set of annexes, decorated with the Book of Gates. Reeves, N & Wilkinson, R. H; the Complete Valley of the Kings, 1996, Thames and Hudson, London. Siliotti, A. Guide to the Valley of the Kings and to the Theban Necropolises and Temples, 1996, A. A. Gaddis, Cairo. Theban Mapping Project: KV11 - Includes description and plans of the tomb. Images taken from 3d models showing the breakthrough into KV10 from KV11
Sir John Soane's Museum
Sir John Soane's Museum is a house museum, the home of the neo-classical architect John Soane. It holds many drawings and models of Soane's projects and the collections of paintings and antiquities that he assembled; the museum is located in Holborn, adjacent to Lincoln's Inn Fields. It is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture and Sport. Soane demolished and rebuilt three houses in succession on the north side of Lincoln's Inn Fields, he began with No. 12, externally a plain brick house. After becoming Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy in 1806, Soane purchased No. 13, the house next door, today the museum, rebuilt it in two phases in 1808–09 and 1812. In 1808–09 Soane constructed his drawing office and "museum" on the site of the former stable block at the back, using top lighting. In 1812 he rebuilt the front part of the site, adding a projecting Portland Stone façade to the basement and first floor levels and the centre bay of the second floor; this formed three open loggias, but Soane glazed the arches during his lifetime.
Once he had moved into No. 13, Soane rented out his former home at No. 12. After completing No.13, Soane set about treating the building as an architectural laboratory, continually remodelling the interiors. In 1823, when he was over 70, he purchased No. 14, which he rebuilt in 1823–24. This project allowed him to construct a picture gallery, linked to No.13, on the former stable block of No. 14. The front main part of this third house was let as an investment; when he died No. 14 was passed out of the museum's ownership. The museum was established during Soane's own lifetime by a Private Act of Parliament in 1833, which took effect on Soane's death in 1837; the Act required that No. 13 be maintained "as nearly as possible" as it was left at the time of Soane's death, and, done. The Act was necessary because Sir John had a living direct male heir, his son George, with whom he had had a "lifelong feud" due to George's debts, refusal to engage in a trade, his marriage, of which Sir John disapproved.
He wrote an "anonymous, defamatory piece for the Sunday papers about Sir John, calling him a cheat, a charlatan and a copyist". Since under contemporary inheritance law George would have been able to lay claim to Sir John's property on his death, Sir John engaged in a lengthy parliamentary campaign to disinherit his son via a private Act, setting out to "reverse the fundamental laws of hereditary succession". According to some; the Soane Museum Act was passed in April 1833 and stipulated that on Soane's death his house and collections would pass into the care of a Board of Trustees, on behalf of the nation, that they should be preserved as nearly as possible as they were left at his death. Towards the end of the 19th century a break-through was made to re-connect the rear rooms of No. 12 through to the museum in No. 13 and since 1969 No. 12 has been run by the Trustees as part of the Museum, housing the research library, offices and, since 1995, the Eva Jiřičná-designed'Soane Gallery' for temporary exhibitions.
The museum's trustees remained independent, relying only on Soane's original endowment, until 1947. Since that date the museum has received an annual Grant-in-Aid from the British Government; the Soane Museum is now a national centre for the study of architecture. From 1988 to 2005 a programme of restoration within the Museum was carried out under Peter Thornton and Margaret Richardson with spaces such as the Drawing Rooms, Picture Room and Dressing Room, Picture Room Recess and others being put back to their original colour schemes and in most cases having their original sequences of objects reinstated. In 1997 the trustees purchased the main house at No. 14 with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund. The house was restored and has enabled the Museum to expand its educational activities, to re-locate its Research Library into that house, to create a Robert Adam Study Centre where Soane's collection of 9,000 Robert Adam drawings is housed in purpose-designed new cabinets by Senior and Carmichael.
The acquisition of No. 14 enabled the Museum, under its new Director, Tim Knox, to embark on'Opening up the Soane', an ambitious project to complete the restoration of the museum's historic spaces. It is funded by the Monument Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Soane Foundation in New York, other private trusts; the Museum's architects for this major £7 million programme are Julian Harrap Architects. Phase 1 began on site in March 2011, was completed in 2013, it included the re-configuration of No. 12, moving the temporary exhibition gallery up to the first floor, to enable new reception facilities and a shop to be created on the ground floor. This phase included the creation of new conservation studios, named the John and Cynthia Fry Gunn Conservation Centre, the installation of lifts to provide disabled access to all public parts of the building for the first time. Phase 2 saw the restoration of Soane's private
Tomb KV6 in Egypt's Valley of the Kings was the final resting place of the 20th-dynasty Pharaoh Ramesses IX. However, the archaeological evidence and the quality of decoration it contains indicates that the tomb was not finished in time for Ramesses's death but was hastily rushed through to completion, many corners being cut, following his demise, it is located in the central part of the Valley. Its unusually wide entrance stands between, above, those of two other interesting tombs: KV5 and KV55. Running a total distance of 105 metres into the hillside, the tomb begins with a gate and a shallow descending ramp. Following on from the ramp come three successive stretches of corridor; the first of these has four side chambers – two on each side – but none of these are decorated or finished. At the end of the corridors come three chambers; the first of these is decorated with the Opening of the Mouth ritual, it is possible that a well shaft would have been dug here had the builders been afforded more time.
The second chamber contains four large columns, but neither the stonecutting nor the decoration work were completed. At the far end of this chamber, a ramp slopes down to the actual burial chamber, where the pharaoh's sarcophagus was placed; the ceiling is vaulted, is decorated with splendid pictures of the goddess Nut. The side walls show scenes from the Book of the Earth; the far wall depicts Ramses on his barque, surrounded by a host of gods. The yellows, dark blues, blacks used to decorate this chamber are visually striking and unusual among the tomb decorations in the Valley. While the sarcophagus itself has long since vanished, Ramesses IX's mummy was one of those found in the Deir el-Bahri cache in 1881. KV6 has been open since antiquity, as can be seen by the graffiti left on its walls by Roman and Coptic visitors. Ramesses IX Tomb-plan Ostracon Reeves, N & Wilkinson, R. H; the Complete Valley of the Kings, 1996, Thames and Hudson, London Siliotti, A. Guide to the Valley of the Kings and to the Theban Necropolises and Temples, 1996, A.
A. Gaddis, Cairo KV6