Broaden Horizons
Paris
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Broaden Horizons
Paris
Image of el award Travellers’ Choice given to the better attractions on Tripadvisor.

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Louvre Private Tour

Our Louvre private guided tour is not only a master piece selection but is also designed to give you a comprehensive introduction to the most famous museum in the world. Done by a licensed guide passionate about history, history of art and architecture, it is a genuine private tour for you and your party only to make the most of your visit at Le Louvre. Two options are available with or without skip the line tickets. 

Photo of the louvre great pyramid to illustrate the Louvre private tour, Paris, France.

Le Louvre Museum facade and pyramid by night – photo by Raphael Miranda on Unplash.com

The Louvre private tour Essentials  

  1. Guided tour in English for your first discovery of the Louvre
  2. Really private 2-hour tour
  3. A group of maximum 6 people exclusively yours (your party only)
  4. with or without Skip-the-line tickets included
  5. Morning, lunchtime, afternoon & evening tours
  6. Postgraduate local licensed guide lecturer

Why a Louvre Private Tour?

First of all, because the Louvre is big, very big, it is the biggest museum in the world. The Louvre is so big that visiting it can be overwhelming, so take a  private tour is definitely a good option, particularly on a first visit.  Having your own local guide will be a great advantage to go directly to the main master pieces and learn how to move efficiently in the huge museum.

Secondly, because your Broaden-Horizons guide is a  licensed guide meaning that he holds the Guide-Conférencier Card which is the highest guiding certification in France.

Last but not least, your guide is a history and history of art enthusiast. You definitely won’t have somebody repeating (or worst reading) things about the only few works of arts he knows, but a real professional guide doing what he does best sharing his love and passion for the arts.

Spirit of the Louvre Private Tour

Optimized Time with Your Guide

  • A route designed to show an high density of master pieces and points of interest
  • A tour ending at Mona Lisa, so you don’t pay to line with your guide there.

Double Approach Tour

(1) Discover the Louvre for what it was initially built: a Paris middle-age fortress and later on a royal palace and consequently a major witness of French history and  architecture.

(2) A selection of the Louvre must-see master pieces including: “Venus de Milo“; “Winged Victory” ; diamonds of  the French Crown ; “Coronation of Napoleon” ;”Raft of the Medusa” ;  “Liberty Leading the People” and for sure Mona Lisa and much more.

Our Private tour is definitely
a must
for a first visit of the Louvre!

Louvre Tour Content: Palace history

Medieval Louvre

Our “Louvre private tour” starts by the beginning: the impressive remnants of the walls of the ancient Louvre fortress build by the king of France Philippe Auguste (the rival of English king Richard the Lionheart) and transformed in a medieval palace by King Charles V. We will also discover the “Salle Saint-Louis” the only remaining medieval room of the Louvre.

Renaissance Louvre

The Lescot Wing

We will then enter the Renaissance Louvre built by architect Pierre Lescot under the reigns of Francois I and Henri II and discover:

  • The magnificent Henri II  grand staircase 
  • One of the most famous the Louvre’s room: the “Salle des Caryatides

This 600 SQM  reception room is a master piece of the French Renaissance with at it south-end four impressive caryatides by sculptor Jean Goujeon and at the opposite side columns marking  the place where the king was dispensing justice.

Many historical events happened in the room as for example the first time Molière performed a play in front of Louis XIV.  

Grande Galerie

The Grande Galerie (Great Gallery) in Denon Wing is the most famous room of the Louvre. Built under Henri IV it was initially 460 meters long (now a third less), future King  Louis XIII was playing and initiated to fox hunting there when he was a child.

The Great Gallery now houses one of the world most prestigious Italian Renaissance painting collection.

Etching by  Jacques Callot depicting the Seine River and the Louvre on the right bank during the reign of Louis XIII to illustrate the Louvre Private Tour in Paris, France;

 Etching representing Paris around 1630. On the left part the picture depicts the right bank of the Seine River with the Louvre castle. The remaining parts of the medieval castle are clearly visible as the Lescot Renaissance wing and the newly built Great Gallery alongside the river. View of the Louvre, Jacques Callot, Arts Institute of Chicago.

The Sun King’s Louvre

Queen Anne of Austria’s Summer Apartments

Anne of Austria is the Sun King’s mother, her apartments built by the architect Louis Le Vau are famous for their magnificent painted and stucco work.

Apollo Gallery

Also built by Le Vau the Apollo Gallery reopens in 2020 after a spectacular in deep cleaning up, It is considered as a prototype of French Classism as It was used as a model for the Galerie des Glaces at Versailles. 

The gallery is named after the theme of its decoration from  walls to ceiling: Apollo glorifying Louis XIV as the Sun King. Designed by the King’s first painter Charles Lebrun the magnificent work was not finished when he died and was continued by many famous French artists as Delacroix with its “Apollo Slays the Python.

Salon Carré

Built by Le Vau by request of Louis XIV, the Salon Carré  (Square Salon) links the Appolo Gallery with the Great Gallery

When  Louis XIV left the Louvre for Versailles he attributed the room to the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture which organized there its yearly art exhibitions. They were called the “Salons” in reference to the room name. The magnificent ceiling of the room gives tribute to the arts of the Academy and major painters by nation: Rubens, Raphael, Poussin and Murillo.

The 19th century Imperial Louvre

Salon Carré

Despite its 17th-century origin  the Salon Carré is strongly linked to the Imperial period as it was the place of the religious wedding ceremony between Napoleon I and Marie-Louise of Austria.

The Imperial Museum

It was created in 1863 with the huge Daru and Molien rooms decorated by Alexandre Dominique Denuelle. Nowadays the two rooms which are still under the imperial color (red and gold) house world famous 19th century French paintings.

Daru Staircase & the Winged Victory of Samothrace

The impressive huge marble Daru Staircase is not only an amazing setting for the Winged Victory but it is also the entry gate of five must-see parts of the Louvre:

  • The ancient Greece and Rome collections
  • The Italian Renaissance painting collection (Included Mona Lisa)
  • The sculptures of the Michelangelo Gallery
  • The diamonds of the French crown
  • The 19th-century French paintings

Louvre Tour Content: the collections

Ancient Greece and Rome Collections

We will cross on our route some world famous master pieces of the collections: 

  • Diana of Versailles (or Artemis Godess of the hunt)
  • The Sleeping Hermaphroditos (formerly in the famous Borghese Collection )
  • The Venus de Milo (in its dedicated room)
  • The Winged Victory of Samothrace

We will also have a look to some frescos from Pompei as some fragments of  Athens Parthenon frieze.

Italian Renaissance Painting

The Louvre houses in the Great Gallery and the Salle des Etats one of the world most prestigious Italian Renaissance painting collection from Quattrocento (early Italian Renaissance) to High Renaissance and Mannerism. 

In the Great Gallery: 

  • St. Francis of Assisi Receiving the Stigmata by Giotto
  • Venus and the Three Graces Presenting Gifts to a Young Woman by Botticelli
  •  St. Sebastian by Mantegna
  • Saint Anne, Leonardo da Vinci’s ultimate masterpiece
  • St. Michael Slaying the Devil & Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione by Rafael
  • Death of the Virgin by Caravaggio, etc.

In Salle des Etats:

Because of the presence of Mona Lisa (also called La Gioconda” or “La Joconde” in French), this room is the most visited of the Louvre. Nevertheless the salle des état also house some main master pieces of Venitian painting with: 

  •  “The Wedding Feast at Cana” an huge painting by Veronese
  • The Pastoral Concert “, initially attributed to Giorgione, and now considered from Titian the works inspired  Manet  for his famous “Lucheon on the Grass.

Michelangelo Gallery

A must-see Italian sculpture gallery with two famous non-finite by Michelangelo: “The Dying Slave” & “The Rebellious Slave.

Nearby is “Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss by Antonio Canova , a pure master piece  which is probably the world most romantic sculpture.

French Crown Jewels 

In the center of the Apollo Gallery are the jewels of the French crown, with the  diadem of the Duchess of Angoulême (daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette), the crown of Louis XV and some of the biggest and most famous diamonds  in the world as the Regent and the Sancy.

Most Famous 19th Century Large French Paintings 

Neoclassicism in Room Daru  
  • The Coronation of Napoleon” by David
  • The Grande Odalisque” by Ingres
Romanticism in Room Mollien  
  • The Raft of the Medusa” by Géricault
  • The Liberty Leading the People” by Delacroix

More great painters can be presented as for example Antoine-Jean Gros successor of David with its realistic Napoleonic paintings which made a transition between Neoclassical  and Romantic styles. 

Photo of 1810 Painting by Boilly representing a public view of Jacques-Louis David master piece "The Coronation of Napoleon" to illustrate the Louvre Private Tour in paris, France;

1810 Painting by Boilly representing a public view of Jacques-Louis David “Coronation of Napoleon” The David huge painting (+/- 10 x 6 meters) completed in 1807 was exhibited in three occasions between 1808 and 1810 in the Napoleon Museum (nowadays Le Louvre Museum). You won’t be the first one to admire this David master piece!

More About the Louvre Private Tour

Practical & Orientation

Your guide will be happy to give you practical information to ease your  stay in the Louvre after the tour:

Most easily reachable collections after the tour:  Islamic Art,  Italian paintings till 1800, Spanish,  English or US paintings, etc.      

Less crowded Intersting galleries, as French or Flemish paintings, Middle- Age and Renaissance sculptures, Ancien Egypte, Charles X Museum, Napoleon III Apartements, etc.

Unexpected gems of the Louvre: as partially reconstructed Coptic church of the Bawit monastery (Egypt from the fourth century) etc.<

Other medieval remains in the Louvre area: the Charles V city wall.  

Practical information: toilettes,  etc.

Photo of Cour Napoléon with the famous Pyramid in its center to illustrate how big is the Louvre.

The huge Cour Napoleon with the famous pyramid in its center only gives a partial view of how big is the Louvre. Our private Louvre guided tour will help you to understand how is organized the museum and find your bearings there.

Other Louvre private guided Tours

 Louvre Dutch and Flemish Paintings Tour

The Louvre owns the biggest collection of Flemish and Dutch paintings outside Belgium and the Netherlandz. Book our private tour to have a chronological overview of the field with Van Eyck, Memling, Metsys, PatinierBruegel, Pourbus, Hals, Ruisdael, Vermeer, Rubens, Van Dick, Rembrandt, etc.  Our Louvre Flemish and Dutch Painting tour is availlable in three versions: Flemish and Dutch, Flemish, Dutch Golden Age

 

Louvre Italian Paintings Tour

Italian painting from 13th to 18th centuries, from Cimabue to Tiepolo. Includes the famous Louvre italian Renaissance collection .

Ancien Egypte Louvre Tour

Because of Napoleon Bonaparte expedition in Egypt the French were the pionieers in egyptology.  This is a French man, Champollion, who discovered the meaning of hieroglyphs, he was also the first curator of Louvre Ancient Egypte Collection one of the most prestigious of the word

Good to know beforE a louvre Guided Tour

Louvre Facts & Data

  • More than 800 years of history (initially a medieval castle)
  • Since then most of the French rulers participated in its construction
  • Artists worked and were housed there since the 15th century
  • Became a museum during French Revolution
  • 210 000 sqm built, among them 60 600 sqm of galleries.
  • More than 300 000 works of arts from which +/- 35 000 are  exhibited
  • 7500 paintings, a little more than half of them are shown in the galleries
  • The Louvre house a famous fine arts school: l‘École du Louvre as  the Centre for Research and Restoration of the Museums of France which owns a particle accelerator to study art works.
  • Nowadays the Louvre is  the biggest, most famous and most visited museum in the world.
  • Louvre pyramid complex designed by architect I.M.Pei in the 80s to manage the flow of tourists, is now undersized.

Louvre Related French Rulers: a Timeline

  • Philip II (Philip Augustus): The first Louvre, a medieval fortress, was build under is reign around 1190.
  • Louis IX (Saint Louis): Great son of Philip II he continued the work on the fortress. The “Sainte-Chapelle” was built (1241 to 1248) under is reign.
  • Charles V (1364 to 1380): transformed the fortress in a gothic palace.
  • François I: Iconic king of the French Renaissance, he starts the royal collection acquiring works from italian masters as Raphael or Michelangelo and briging others, as Leonardo da Vinci, to his court.
  • Henri II: Carried out from 1547 is father François I project, the Renaissance Louvre.
  • Henri IV: The Grand Gallery was built under the reign of the first Boubon King who was assassinated in 1610.
  • Louis XIV: In the first part of is long reign the Sun king involved himself in the Louvre layout but finally leave it for is new built Versaille Palace.
  • Napoleon Bonaparte: The Emperor of the French reopened the Louvre project building the wing on  Rivoli Street.
  • Napoleon III: finalised the project with numerous constructions.
  • François Mitterand:  In the 80’s the French president asked architect I.M.Pei to implemente his pyramid in the Louvre main courtyard. 

Louvre Tips: Access & Opening

Louvre Opening Days 

The Louvre is open every day of the week except Tuesdays. 

Louvre Opening Hours 

The museum is open from 9.00a.m. to 6.00p.m. On Wednesday & Friday Louvre  is open till 9.45p.m. Evening Openings are  an opportunity to enlarge your stay in the museum as to enjoy late evening less crowed hours.

Free Entrance the First Sunday of Each Month

A good idea if you don’t want to pay, but a very bad one if you want to avoid the crowd. We don’t accept tour bookings for these Sundays.

Louvre Tips: Ease your Stay in the Museum

Amenities

WIFI: The Louvre is not fully covered but you will found some free hotspots spreaded in the museum.

Childreen: Even if they are welcome in the  Louvre there is no dedicated area for them.

Snack and Lunch Break Inside the Louvre

  • At the Pyramid reception area  (Goguette, Comptoir du Louvre, Starbuck and two take away counters).
  • In the galleries: café Mollien in Denon wing and café Angelina in Richelieu wing  with terraces overlooking the Louvre Pyramid.
What to Wear

Comfortable Walking Shoes are clearly mandatory to walk the Louvre huge galleries.

Things to know before Booking

Your Private Licensed Guide in Paris

  • State-graduate licensed guide lecturer
  • Bachelor with honors in Heritage Developpement & Preservation by Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers
  • Postgraduate from Paris-Dauphine University
  • Member of Paris Historique Association

Louvre Private Tour Highlights

  • Really private 2-hour tour for you and your party only
  • A comprehensive introduction to the Louvre Museum
  • Louvre history as a castle and palace
  • A selection of master pieces
  • The opportunity to ask your dedicated guide any related questions

Meeting Point

Two options outside or inside the museum 

Access: Line 1 station Palais Royal

 

Louvre Private Tour Attention Points

  • Tour is on foot
  • Prices do not include transportation, food, drinks or any other extra services
  • Museum tickets: two option tickets may be included or not 
  • Tour duration & content are purely indicative, they may vary due to contingencies

BoOk your Louvre Private Tour

Choose below your tour: You will then be  asked : -> choose the number of people, date & hours of visit -> after our validation-> pay on line.

Choose below your tour

You will then be  asked : 

  • choose number of people, date & hour of visit
  • after our validation
  • pay on line
Sculpture photo of the facade of the Louvre Museum to illustrate the Louvre Private Tour in Paris, France.

View of people entering in the Louvre by Richelieu Gallery coming from rue de Rivoli and Palais Royal. Photo by Serge Kutuzov on Unsplash

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