Encyclopedic in its scope and exhausting in its magnitude, the Louvre has vast collections ranging from the 6th century B.C. to the mid-19th century. Its impressive architecture goes back 800 years, to its origins as a fortress guarding medieval Paris. In its contemporary incarnation, recently reconfigured and rebaptized "The Grand Louvre", it spreads over four levels and boasts more than 30,000 works of art; its galleries, shops, and offices occupy some 1.72 million square feet, with some 645,000 square feet dedicated to exhibitions.
Such daunting dimensions can make the museum feel like an endless labyrinth to the uninitiated visitor, and so The Pocket Louvre offers invaluable help, including:
-- A handy user's guide, providing all the necessary information about access to the museum and to its many services, from cards to post office to shops.
-- Suggested itineraries for visits of varying lengths and for visitors with differing interests.
-- A history of the Louvre's long and colorful existence, with particular attention paid to the evolution of its architecture, so that modern-day visitors can orient themselves within the historical context.
-- A history of the collections, from the original royal treasure trove to Napoleon's museum for the people to its current position as one of the world's most important museums.
-- An illustrated catalog of 500 masterpieces, all in color, with brief commentaries that will lure visitors to find and enjoy these works within the museum.
Part 1 The Louvre - an architectural hsitory with tours. Part 2 The collections: Egyptian antiquities; Oriental antiquities and Islamic art; Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiquities; painting; sculpture; objets d'art; prints and drawings.