Using The Museum As A Medium How Museums Function As A Medium In Paris France Term Paper

Length: 9 pages Sources: 10 Subject: Art  (general) Type: Term Paper Paper: #51417192 Related Topics: Museum, A Beautiful Mind, France, Peace Like A River
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Museums in Paris

The Louvre Museum can be categorized as one of the world's largest and most magnificent museums. It also marks a monument and an attractive sightseeing location for tourists from all over the world. Standing near the River Seine and stretching over 60,000 meters square, this museum has its own unique history.

The museum was a transformation from the Louvre Palace, built as a fortress for King Louis XIV. He considered the Palace too small for his needs and then went on to making the Palace of Versailles. He left behind this beautifully structured monument to become the museum of beautiful art. The Louvre Museum was initiated in 1793 with initially just 537 paintings. Many of these were the confiscated church paintings and the others were donations from the prestigious and powerful people of the time. Slowly and gradually, the collection of the museum started increasing under Napoleon but after his defeat much of the collection was returned to where it belonged. The collection grew to the extent that in 2008, there were separate chambers made to classify the paintings according to their cultural departments. An interesting fact about the Louvre collection is that it would take nine months to view the entire collection (Danilov).

However, it should be realized that a museum is not just a mere collection of arts and crafts. Instead, a lot of effort goes into putting things in order, establishing a building or place attractive enough for people to come and pay a visit. Added to this, essentials have to be taken care of, like proper care of the valuables inside, security systems, protection from any kind of damage. The layout of the museum is also important. Placing every object categorically and organizing them in an interesting manner is an integral part. The museum has an entire collection of over one million paintings of which they have put up only 35,000 on exhibit. These are divided across 3 wings. We shall now look over at the outlay and construction of the museum itself.

Structure and Design of the Museum

The museum has its famous glass pyramid right at the centre of the ground through which there is an entrance to the three wings, named Sully, Richelieu and Denon (SiegeL).

The Sully Wing

This wing is the oldest part of the Louvre and is home to all the French art including sketches, paintings as well as prints. The source of attraction and fame for this wing is the Turkish bath, known for its erotic theme. It was a masterpiece by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres who painted this in about the late 18th century. This lies on the second floor of this wing.

The Sully wing also displays the antique Egyptian sculptures located on the ground and the first floor. Amongst these famous 30 rooms of Egyptian artifacts is the Seated Scribe, along with the famous statue of the second Pharaoh Ramesses. Another one of the unique and renowned names of the Louvre artifacts is the Venus of Milo which is one of the significant Greek attractions. Not only is the Sully filled with these arts and crafts, but it also keeps intact some of the remains of the Louvre as the palace that it used to be. This is found in the lower section of the ground floor of the Sully.

Richelieu Wing:

Moving on to the Richelieu wing, this is based upon the Middle Aged paintings up till the 19th century. Amongst these are the famous and magnificent works of artists like Rubens as well as Rembrandt. The famous ones are known as Lacemaker from Jan Vermeer and the very popular Flemish painting of the 15th century called the Virgin of Chancellor made by Jan Van Eyck. We move on to the Chinese cultural artifacts including objects like tapestries and household decorative like furniture, crockery and clocks (Friedlander).

Also, on the second floor, we can see the pictures of how the Napoleon apartments used to look like. An entire room is dedicated also to the interior of the Louvre with the paintings that actually used to hang there. It gives the best insight and feel of how things used to be and what it would be like to stand in one of those chambers.

The lower two floors of this wing contain the collection of Louvre's sculptures showcased in two huge glassed yards called Cour Marly and Cour Puget. Cour Marly is dedicated to the marble sculptures of the 18th century.


This is a huge stele dated 18th century and stands in the ground floor section of the Richelieu wing of the Louvre Museum.

Denon Wing:

The center of attraction of almost all the Louvre visitors, the Denon wing is home to the worlds famous "Mona Lisa." The wing with the most hustle bustle and chatter about the magnificent woman that has people going crazy about her. Encaged behind robes and security officials standing on either side, everyone wants to get a glimpse and snap a picture with it. Apart from Mona Lisa, the first floor of this wing also holds other famous feasts for the eyes like the Consecration of Emperor Napoleon I along with the Samothrace statue of the winged victory made of marble. This is also the point of intersection between the Sully Wing and the Denon Wing.

The respective wing also holds the Roman and Etruscan specialties and a spectacular show of the renaissance sculptures that go back up to the 19th century. Amongst some famous works here are the Cupid's kiss and the Dying Slave by Michelangelo. Some other Asian, American and African pieces can also be found here in the wing.

Display practices in the Louvre

The display of the arts and crafts in the Louvre museum is done in a very logical and systematic way. Classifying paintings and pieces according to the cultural background they belong to as well as the era in which they were made, makes it orderly and easy for people to relate to the events and happenings of those times (Greenhill). Often, the themes are also categorized such as the landscapes, romance, war, vengeance, and many more. It fascinates and intrigues the people and gives them a topic to talk about and then move on to the next. It also gives them the essence of how various artists lived in the same time but interpreted and felt things in a different manner. The sculptures and erotic pieces are put into a separate floor whereas the love and romantic paintings are placed separately. It shows how for different people, love means something completely different. Some might associate it to blossoming seasons, others something magical. It incorporates every way in which a single aspect maybe expressed.

The division of eras and time frames gives an insight to the people of what techniques of art were used at different points in time. Sketching was common at a different time while oil paintings and sculptures were present at some other. The modern art shows people how even skills and artistic designs evolved over time.

Starting 2006, the Louvre Museum has collaborated with DNP lab to brush up and use their expertise in artistic museums to discover new techniques of display. The use of multimedia is being tested to try a new approach to presenting art in museums. Information technology variants are used to display the history of the Islamic arts and to present the evolution over time that occurred in the ceramic arts as to how they were produced, how they were decorated and presented. There are lesser exhibits on display as well so that people properly appreciate them before their attention drifts off to others (Miles).

The lab is also trying to install panels and animation projectors that might be able to make the museum more innovative and would incorporate the "augmented reality" which tries to emphasize the images as they are perceived by the audience. By displaying a range of Islamic ceramics side by side, people would be able to see how the initial material and colors used changed over time and evolved into better looking and more beautiful pieces.

New visiting technology

The museum has come up with new technologies that enhance the audience's visiting experience. The first one involves the installation of sensors that read the tags and the audience approaching the picture and it automatically lights up the multimedia screens. The walls are then projected with animations as well as details thus enabling the visitor to learn about the art as well (Hein).

The next enhancement is the audio guides. These are distinct technologies using "game boys" which have their own application installed, having the map of the museum as well as a complementary audio guide narrating the details, background and fame of the picture. These audio guides are also available in different languages to eliminate any kind of barriers to communication.


Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Danilov, Victor J. Museum careers and training: A professional guide. Greenwood Press, 194.

Dean, David. Museum Exhibition: Theory and Practice. Routledge, 1996.

Friedlander, Max J. Early Netherlands Painting: From Van Eyck to Bruegel. Phaidon Publishers, 1956.

Greenhill, Eileen Hooper. Museum, Media, Message. Routledge, 1995.

Cite this Document:

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