The Louvre in Paris, France, is probably the most famous museum globally. Though they have millions of visitors per year, the name Louvre is a mystery to many.
The origins of the name Lourve are somewhat disputed. There are four main reasons for where historians think the name of the Louvre came from. None of these have been confirmed, and according to legends, the origin of the Louvre name has not been verified.
The Name Louvre
The Louvre’s full name is Louvre Museum or French Musee du Louvre. The official name is the Great Louvre or the French Grand Louvre.
The origins of why the Louvre Museum is called the Louvre are somewhat disputed. There are several versions of why the Louvre is known as the Louvre.
Here are some of the reasons why people say the Louvre is named the Louvre:
In this first version, the Louvre is called the Turris Lupara because, according to the Grand Larousse encyclopedia, the Louvre is from an association with wolf hunting. It comes from the Latin name lupus or lupara or, more precisely, “Turris Lupara.”
Wolf hunting was mainly for hunting grey wolves. They were hunted for their skins and so that the wolves did not kill the livestock. Before Paris was heavily populated, there would have been wolves roaming the countryside near the Louvre Museum.
Another version that others have supposed is the name Luvra; it was called this from the 7th century when Bungundofara, also known as Saint Fare, has gifted her Villa known as Luvra to a monetary in Paris.
People have not been able to verify that this land of the Luvra is where the present-day Louvre is standing. Most people doubt this version of why the name Louvrecoming from the word Luvra.
In the 9th century, they used the name, Lauer. This name has Saxon origins due to the German migrations to the area. The name Lauer is said to mean Watchtower.
During the 9th century, the Louvre would have had watchtowers as it was the seat of Paris for the government.
Name of the Fortress
Another version of the name Louvre goes back to the late 12th Century when King Philip decided to build a massive fortress around the capital of Paris to keep out the attacks from the west of the city.
In this version, it is said that the name Louvre was given as a name for the Fortress. Today you can still see parts of this medieval Louvre in the crypt.
By 1546 the Fortress had lost all its ability to defend the city of Paris as Paris had grown and expanded rapidly. At this time, Francis I decided to convert the area into the French Kings’ primary residence.
The truth is that any of these four versions can be true. We know that the Louvre was a building built and rebuilt many times. When it was a Royal residence for the King, almost every monarch expanded the building somehow.
The Louvre Becomes A Museum
The Louvre was not always a museum. In fact, for hundreds of years, it was either a fortress or royal palace.
Today the area of the Louvre covers about 652,300 square feet or (60,600 square meters),
In 1682 Louis XIV decided to move the royal residence to the Versailles; the Louvre then became home to many art academies and art exhibitions in the mid-eighteenth century.
In the mid-eighteenth century, there was a call for there to be a place for artists to show their work. In 1750 King Louis XV decided to display 96 pieces from the royal collection. A hall was open for public viewing.
Under Louis XVI, the reality of a museum become closer. Unfortunately, the French Revolution happened, and it never entirely became a museum.
During the French Revolution in 1791, it was declared that the Louvre would be a place for people to view the sciences and arts. But also in 1792, Louis XVI was imprisoned, and the art collection became national property.
By 1793 the museum was under the control of the French Republic. It decided that the Louvre would be a museum, and they displayed 537 paintings and 184 objects of art. The public was allowed to enter the building three days per week; this was considered a significant accomplishment to enable the public to have free access to see the arts.
We owe it to Napoleon and his government for their insight to help to ensure that Louvre would be a museum and not only that have collections of art that were open for the public to view. The French Republic continued to collect works of art to display at the museum complex.
If you are in Paris, a trip to Louvre is well worth it. The museum has Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa painting, but it is also rich in art and artifacts.
I am very thankful for art museums. Art museums inspire me and help me to be a better artist. Anita Louise Art is dedicated to art education, great artists worldwide, and inspiring others to find and create their art. We look at all kinds of art made to uplift and inspire. #ArtToMakeYouSmile! #ArtToMakeYouHappy!
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Art museums choose what they want to exhibit because of costs, budget restraints, and space restraints. They want to show art that the public wants to see and exhibitions the people are willing to pay an entrance fee to attend. A museum also exhibits those works of art that align with its mission and vision.
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An art museum will help to collect and preserve works of art. They also interpret the art and help to educate us all about art. Many art museums will have programs that will allow you to experiment with different art types. The core role of an art museum is to inspire us about art.
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