Walking in the Louvre – From Victory to Liberty

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You’ll find banquets, shipwrecks, and the Mona Lisa, of course.

From the main entrance beneath the Pyramid, head into the Denon Wing to the gallery of Greek sculptures, which includes the famous Borghese Gladiator. Then climb the monumental staircase. Halfway up is the Winged Victory of Samothrace (1), the sculpture of a headless, winged figure on the prow of a ship.

At the top of the stairs, peek into the richly decorated Apollo Gallery (2), where the painted and carved walls and ceiling rival in magnificience the precious stone cups and royal crowns in the cases.

Then head to the Italian painting department. Concentrate on details such as Ghirlandaio’s An Old Man And His Grandson (3), and Arcimboldo’s Four Season (4); see what fruit and vegetables the artist used to depict the different sesons. A special room contains the Mona Lisa (5). Despite Mona Lisa’s fame, kids might find Verones’s The Wedding Feast at Cana (6), which hangs opposite, more interesting, with its sumptuously dressed dinner guests, dogs at their feet.

Go through to the Grand Gallery of French painting. In David’s Sacre de Napoléon (7), the emperor is placing a crown on Josephine’s head. The Raft of the Medusa (8) by Gericault, depicting survivors clinging desperately onto a raft, is based on a real shipwreck. Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People (9) was based on the revolution of 1830 but is more a stirring manifesto than a realistic portrayal. Additonal tours for families in English, such as Outsize, on which you search for giant work of art, and At Table, focusing on eating and food themes, can be found on the Louvre Web site

Metro Station : Louvre Rivoli (Line 1), Palais-Royal (Line 1,7)