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The Galerie d'Apollon, Louvre

One of the largest and most visited museums in the world, and possibly the most famous of them all, the Louvre is one of Paris's many must-visits. Situated in the 1st arrondissement, in the heart of Paris, this palace is both from an architectural point of view as from an arts perspective one of the must see sights in Paris.

The Louvre was built in several stages. It was first built in the sixteenth century when the Royal family started to move near the fortress of the Louvre. The original keep was then destroyed and it was replaced by a palace. The main architect was Pierre Lescot, who was appointed in 1546 by the king. The immense building had 2 courtyards and was 2 stories high. Its architecture combines French and Italian features.
About a decade later, Catherine de Medici started with another palace project, the Tuileries on the west side of the Louvre. Later, during the second empire, between 1853 and 1857, the Louvre was massively extended by Visconti and Lefuel.

The Galerie d'Apollon

On February 6, 1661, fire ravaged the upper story of the Petite Galerie. While Le Vau oversaw the reconstruction work, the Sun King, Louis XIV, commissioned Charles Le Brun to execute decorative paintings evoking the passage of the sun represented by the Roman sun god Apollo. The decoration was left unfinished, but includes three ceiling panels by Le Brun (begun in 1663) and a number of large-scale stucco sculptures.

The famous Apollo Gallery a sumptuous 600-square metre ceremonial gallery with a 15-metre-high ceiling, which housed such wonders as the French Crown Jewels, including the famous Régent (140 carats) and Sancy (53 carats) diamonds, as well as the 105-carat Côte de Bretagne ruby.
Built in 1661 under the direction of architect Le Vau and painter Charles Le Brun, the gallery was not fully completed until 1851. In all, over twenty artists worked on the decoration, which served as an example for the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.
The 11 paintings on canvas, 30 decorative paintings on plaster, 36 sculptures of stucco and gilded woodwork and 28 tapestries that blend into the arches and walls bear the names of artists like Lagrenée, Girardon, Le Brun and Delacroix. (Source: Louvre & wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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