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

 19th Century French Paintings Louvre Tour

This 19th-century French Painting tour is the last one of our Louvre French painting series. Actually, the tour should better be called « the first half of 19th-century French Painting » as to have the second half of the 19th century you will have to change of museum and follow our Musée d’Orsay private guided tour.

Photo of a landscape painting by Achille Etna Michallon, the master of Corot to illustrate the Le Louvre private tour 19th century french painting, Paris, France.

This is at the beginning of the 19th century that landscape took its independence from history painting. In 1817 was created the price of Landscape, Achille Etna Michallon, the master of Corot was the first laureate.

Louvre 19th century French Paintings private tour in a Nutshell

From 120 € for 1 to 2 people + 25 € for any extra people

  • +/- 2-hour guided tour in English
  • Really private tour (your party only 6 people max.)
  • Postgraduate (MPhil) certified French national guide
  • Flexible schedule
  • Availability: not on Monday, Tuesdays, Wednesday
  • Skip-the-line ticket to buy online
  • Easy meeting point inside the Museum below the pyramid

Skip-the-line ticket clarification: they are just standard online tickets.

KNOW MORE / BOOK NOW

What’s in the tour?

Romanticism

Neoclassicism

Salon de peinture

Academicism

Barbizon School

The tour Masterpieces

Psyche Receiving Cupid’s First Kiss & Portrait of Impress Marie Louise by François Gérard; Portrait of Madeleine by Marie-Guillemine Benoist; The Valpinçon Bather by Ingres; Naked young man sitting by the sea by Hippolyte Flandrin; Derby of Epsom by Gericault; Orphan Girl at the Cemetery by Delacroix; The Death of Géricault by Arry Scheffer; The Toilette of Esther & Venus of the sea by Théodore Chassériau, Lost Illusions by Charles Gleyre.

A selection of carefully selected other masterpieces to better explain the historical context and artistic evolution of the first half of the 19th century. 

Warning

We don’t go in crowded Denon Wing where are the world-famous huge 19th-century French paintings as « La liberté guidant le peuple, » « the Raft of the Medusa » or « the coronation of Napoleon » but in the much more quiet French Painting dedicated rooms in Sully Wing.

Your Private Tour Guide in Paris

Certified French national guide
BA, Magna Cum Laude, Heritage Developpement & Preservation from Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers
Postgraduate from Paris Dauphine-PSL University

Why the 19th Century French Painting in the Louvre?

Because the French 19th century is the key period of art evolution. A century starting wisely returning to art references with neoclassical and ending breaking all the rules with impressionism and then fauvism and cubism in the first years of the 20th century.

Nevertheless, our tour treats only the first half of the century as the Louvre collections stop in 1850, so for impressionism, fauvism or cubism, you have to go to the Orsay Museum. But these first 50 years of the 19th century are rich enough for a tour in which you will learn about: Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Academicism, Orientalism, Historicism, Symbolism, Saint-Sulpician style, Troubadour style, Barbizon School, etc.

More practically we don’t go in crowded Denon Wing where are the world-famous huge paintings by Delacroix, Géricault or David as « La liberté guidant le peuple« , « the Raft of the Medusa » or « the coronation of Napoleon« , but we go to the much more quiet French Painting dedicated floors in Sully Wing. There we will peacefully admire smaller paintings by the same French masters.

An opportunity to see and comment on numerous oil sketches or oil studies (artworks made in preparation for a larger finished painting, also called modeli).

Photo of odalisque by Ingres to illustrate the Louvre 19th century french painting private tour in Paris, France

There are few versions of odalisque by Ingres. Watching this master pieces one question comes : Was Ingres really academic?

Content of the Tour

Painters

  • Jacques-Louis-David and his pupils: Antoine-Jean Gros, François Gérard, Marie-Guillemine Benoist, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Anne-Louis Girodet.
  • Pierre-Narcisse Baron Guérin: the master of many romantic painters as Delacroix, Géricault, Scheffer, Huet, Cognier, etc.
  • Théodore Géricault and his passion for the horses
  • Eugène Delacroix: the color
  • Ingres: the drawing
  • Ingres most talented pupils: Théodore Chassériau & Hippolyte Flandrin
  • Ary Scheffer romantic painter and drawing teacher to the children of the last king of the French Louis-Philippe I
  • Achille Etna Michallon the young Master of Camille Corot
  • Camille Corot and the other painters of the Barbizon School as Théodore Rousseau, Charles-François Daubigny, Jean-François Millet, Constant Troyon, etc.
  • Charles Gleyre master of no less than Jean-Léon Gérôme, Alfred Sisley, Claude Monet, Frédéric Bazille and Auguste Renoir.

Le Salon de Peinture

  • What it was
  • How to be admitted
  • Where was it organized
  • The Prix de Rome

Oil Sketches and Studies

As « the Raft of the Medusa » by Géricault, « the Death of Sardanapale » & « The Entry of the Crusaders in Constantinople » by Delacroix, « Énée and Didon »by Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, etc.

Technical Considerations

How non-controlled innovations in color pigment badly impacted some paintings and lots more.

Few Glimpses of the Tour

The Nice and Sad Story of Achille Etna Michallon

It is a rare honor for a 19th-century painter to have his works shown in the Louvre, even less happy few have the extraordinary honor of the Salle Mollien in Denon Wing where are the most famous paintings of the period. Michallon is one of them, and two of his paintings are shown alongside to Géricault‘s « Radeau de la méduse » or Delacroix‘s « La liberté guidant le Peuple« . The fame of Michallon is shorter than it should have been, not because of his lack of talent, but because of his lack of time.

In 1808, a rich Russian prince, Nikolaï Borissovitch Ioussoupov was so admiring of a Michalon’s Painting in David’s studio (Michallon was, therefore, one of David’s pupils) that he called him the « petit Poussin » (in reference to Nicolas Poussin) and decided to pay him a pension. In 1817, Michallon was the first winner of the Prix de Rome for historical landscape painting. He opened his own studio in 1820, start to take pupils, among them Jean Baptiste Corot who was three months older than him. But Michallon died two years later from pneumonia, he was only 25. Corot is considered the founder of the Barbizon School, Michallon is the unlucky precursor.

Lost Illusions (Le Soir)

This 1843 masterpiece by Charles Gleyre had an amazing success and has been copied many times and « Lost illusions » is often considered a milestone, a precursor work of later on Symbolism by his poetry and its unreal atmosphere.

Nevertheless, Gleyre – who had Jean-Léon Gérôme among his pupils – with his perfect drawing is clearly a history and academic painter.

Gleyre was also the teacher of Claude Monet, Frédéric Bazille, Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley but they all left his studio in spring 1863 after Gleyre told Monet how it was important to always think about ancient Rome and Greece meanwhile painting. They will all become just a few years later the pillars of the impressionist movement.

Photo of Lost Illusions (Le Soir) by Charles Gleyre to illustrate the Louvre 19th century French painting private tour in Paris, France.

  Lost Illusions (Le Soir) by Charles Gleyre. Credit Fonds Françoise Foliot – CC BY-SA 4.0

Don’t miss the opportunity to follow our Le louvre 19th century French Painting Private Tour

Other Louvre French Painting Tours

This 19th-century French painting tour is the last of a series of 4 Louvre French painting tours covering the subject from the Middle Age. Our Musée d’Orsay tour (1850 to 1914) is somehow the fifth part of the cycle.

Full Series Louvre + Orsay French Paintings Tours

Miss Time for the Full Cycle? Try the Crash Course

Photo of the old city of Bruges to illustrate  the Louvre Flemish and Painting Tour ; Paris, France.

French Painting Crash Course Tour

3h Private Tour from 180 € for 2

French painting crash course in the Louvre. Five hundred years of painting from the mid 14th century to the mid 19th century.

See / Book

Things to know before Booking

Clarification: Skip-the-Line Tickets Are Just Standard Online Ones

Louvre website says "All visitors, including those entitled to free admission (including Paris Museum Pass bearer), must book a time slot. Buy your ticket online on www.ticketlouvre.fr... During off-peak times, there may also be a limited number of time slots for same-day visits available for booking at the museum. However ... to guarantee your entry ... we strongly advise booking your time slot in advance online." Conclusion no magic: During your time slot, you are entitled to enter the online booking security line, so yes, you skip the line... of those who come without a ticket!

Louvre Museum Tickets Fare

Museum tickets are not included in the tour price.

  • Online Louvre tickets: 17 € per adult
  • Free for all kids under 18 years old
  • Free under 26 years old for the European Union residents

Restrictions

  • Private tour means a tour for you & your party only, not that the museum is privatized.
  • Tour duration & content are purely indicative, they may vary due to contingencies.
  • In case of unexpected closed galleries you accept to follow a substitution content.
  • Prices do not include transportation, food, drinks or any other extra services.

Attention Points

Meeting Point

Easy one Inside or outside the museum (detail during booking)

Access: Metro Line 1 station Palais-Royal

Book your Louvre Private Tour

Just request the date, time, number of people you want for your Louvre tour in our calendar and follow the below 4 steps online easy process.
(1) Receive our OK email (48h free pre-booking)
(2) Buy your Louvre tickets online (compatible schedule)
(3) Once you have your tickets pay your tour online
(4) Receive our
confirmation (email)
Nota bene: Step (1) free pre-booking is lost if no step (3) payment is received after 48h. Buy your ticket on Louvre official web site. Louvre is closed on Tuesdays. Open hours:  9 am - 6 pm. Any exit is final.
Portrait of Théodore Géricault in 1824 to illustrate the Louvre 19th century French Painting Private Tour in Paris, France

The Louvre private tour French painting 19th century. Portrait of Théodore Géricault in 1824.

The Louvre, Paris, France

Le Louvre northern entry