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Dictionnaire amoureux du Louvre - Art Lover’s Dictionary of the Louvre

By Pierre Rosenberg, of the Academie Française. The book was published in French by Plon in November 2007

Pierre Rosenberg was the president-director of the Louvre Museum between 1994 and 2001, and well-known throughout the world as the most distinguished specialist of paintings and drawings, particularly of the XVIIth and XVIIIth century. He is offering us an outstanding guided tour through this majestic art palace - the Louvre.

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Pierre Rosenberg’s Art Lover’s Dictionary of The Louvre is a « monumental work », one might say : 957 pages dealing with this immense and venerable institution. One can only be but deeply impressed as one consults it. Indeed, this work is a result of incredible amount of reflexion, experience, erudition and also humour to explore the world of the Louvre.
This "Louvre dictionary” is "like discovering or re-discovering generations of artists and works of art with an indiscrete eye".
So page after page, we’ll make our way through this temple of art and all the figures and history surrounding it.

We’ll learn all about probably the heart of the book :


Today the Louvre is a museum, but this wasn't always so the case…
(for instance during the French Revolution (originally the Louvre was a Palace), Dominique Vivant-Denon, the first “director” during Napoleon’s times, the Louvre during the Second World War, and all the difficulties in connection with the evacuation of the masterpieces outside the city).

Other items are revealed to us by Pierre Rosenberg, such as :

- the famous PYRAMIDE built by the not less famous american-chinese architect Ieoh Ming PEI, and the controversy or the Battle of the Pyramide ;

- What is the Louvre’s relationship with other important museums ? For instance, with the Musée d’Orsay in Paris or the National Gallery in London ?

- Another controversy about the Louvre and the Abou Dabi project. What is Pierre Rosenberg’s point of view in this matter ?

After a first short break, we’ll listen to a chapter of French History related to the Louvre. As it is said, "the Louvre is a time machine and by taking just a few steps there you walk through centuries".

The History of Art is of course deeply involved with French history.


For instance with the letter L, we find a succession of Kings from Louis XIIIth to Louis XVIth and certainly Louis XIVth… Pierre Rosenberg will help us refresh our memory.

We’ll then pursue our History lesson through this LOUVRE DICTIONARY and look at :
- the ARCH of TRIUMPH of the CARROUSEL. (Here you’ll find a whole section of(...)

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