People travel to Paris for many reasons; for famous landmarks, amazing French food, parks and gardens, romance, and for fashion, architecture, and shopping.
But another reason that pulls travelers from all around the globe is it’s impressive collection of art.
Even if you’re not usually a fan of museums, it’s likely you’ll still want to hit the Louvre. Though Paris has many more incredible artistic treasures, and here are the 10 best for you.
10 Best Artworks in Paris
The Thinker, Rodin, Rodin Museum
The famous sculpture “The Thinker” by the French artist Auguste Rodin was created in two years and presented to the audience in 1882.
Today in the world there are more than 20 copies installed in various famous museums, but the original is kept in Paris.
The prototype for the sculptor was the boxer, Jean Beau. By design, he depicts the poet Dante Alighieri, the famous author of the “Divine Comedy”.
Le Sommeil, Gustave Courbet Petit Palais
The erotic painting “Dream” was created in 1819 by the famous painter Gustave Courbet. Another name is Two Friends” because the models were two women lying naked on a sheet.
One of them is Joanna Hiffernan. Thanks to his talent and ability to convey emotions and feelings with colors, Courbet became one of his time’s key artists of French realism.
Unfortunately, the artist spent the last years of his life in exile – in Switzerland.
Eugène Delacroix: Liberty leading the people (La Liberté guidant le peuple), Louvre
Delacroix’s revolutionary painting “Liberty Leading the People” is dedicated to the French uprising of 1830. Then the French overthrew King Charles X.
The central character of the picture embodies Freedom, which leads the people, despite the obstacles, to a bright future. Other characters include representatives of different social classes, including children, who together form a national association.
The picture from its creation until now causes conflicting feelings among various critics and fans.
Image credit: Fred Romero (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
L’Astronome by Vermeer, Louvre
The painting “The Astronomer” was painted almost 400 years ago. This is a work of the Dutch artist, Jan Vermeer.
Critics believe that the character in this painting resonates with his other work “The Geographer” (Frankfurt, Germany). The people, objects, and environment depicted in the picture symbolize science and people’s desire to learn more about the world.
At that time, depictions of learned people and the subject of science were very popular among Dutch artists.
Image credit: Chris Waits (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
SE 71, L’Arbre, grande éponge bleue, Yves Klein, Centre Pompidou
Yves Klein is one of the most controversial artists of his time. His famous “Blue Klein” was exhibited for the first time in Italy – Milan. The exhibition consisted of 11 blue canvases which only differed only in cost.
Visitors were delighted, which gave the artist inspiration to continue similar experiments. So it was through the creation of monochrome blue paintings that he gained world fame, lots of them in combination with sponges.
And later he generally announced the “theory of sensitivity”, thanks to which you can subtly learn about the world.
Venus of Milo, Louvre
The Venus de Milo is one of the oldest sculptures in the world, the author of which remains unknown. Today it adorns the exposition in the Louvre.
Created in approximately 150 BC. e. At all times, Venus was considered the standard of female beauty. The modern world became aware of the statue in 1820 when a Greek excavated it on his plot.
At that time, it was already broken into parts. The statue of the goddess Aphrodite is made of marble and fascinates art connoisseurs to this day.
Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe by Manet at the Musée d’Orsay
The bright and inspiring painting “Breakfast on the Grass” was painted by Édouard Manet in 1863.
This is the first time when the artist dared to violate the established canons of painting and depicted naked contemporary women, and not in the form of goddesses or mythological creatures.
It is believed that the artist drew inspiration from the work of Raphael “Judgment of Paris”. The painting depicts men known as Manet’s brother – Eugène and sculpture Ferdinand Leenhoff. The woman in the foreground is Victorine Meurent.
The Gates of Hell by Rodin Museum Rodin
The French artist Rodin worked on the sculpture “Gates of Hell” for 37 years, but never finished it. It was an attempt to create a decorative portal for the Paris Museum of Decorative Arts.
And the fictional heroes of the works “The Divine Comedy”, “The Last Judgment”, and “The Flowers of Evil” became the characters.
It seems that even the author himself was confused and did not see exactly what the final result should be. As a result, the “Gates of Hell” was never fully completed, and the museum was never opened.
Image credit: Marko Kudjerski (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
Les Nymphéas by Monet Musée d’Orangerie
Almost 250 paintings of the famous Monet are combined in one series “Water Lilies”, some of which are now in the Orangery Museum.
This is an oil painting that the artist has been persistently engaged in for the last 30 years of his life. This is not the only cycle of paintings, the artist has others – “Creuse Valley”, and “Kopytsi”.
Individual frescoes from “Water Lilies” are kept today in museums in New York, Chicago, Oregon, and other cities. It is noteworthy that 8 works are shown in 2 oval halls.
Some are up to 17 meters long. In total, all works occupy almost 100 meters.
Image credit: Baptiste Pons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) via Flickr
Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci Louvre
A masterpiece that needs no description. The whole world knows about Leonardo da Vinci’s Gioconda.
This is a priceless example of Renaissance painting. Today, the original painting is kept in the Louvre.
The full title of the work is “Portrait of Mrs. Lisa del Giocondo.” It was created in 1503 in Italy. During its existence, it was stolen and only a miracle returned the work to the museum.
For decades, the Mona Lisa has not left the covers of magazines and has been copied more often than any other famous painting.