Cultural Visit: The Louvre

Essay by krrfUniversity, Bachelor's October 2004

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Thanks to the technology of the 21st century, it is now easy to view the impressive works of art on display at the Louvre museum with ease. All the reader needs is a computer with access to the Internet. By pointing a web browser to, the reader can access selected works, or take a virtual tour of the museum. By viewing the artwork at the Louvre, the reader can easily identify the shift in style throughout the ages.

The website is set up with a menu on the left side at all times. This allows for easy navigation to any particular part of the site. The collection area of the site is broken down into many areas: paintings, prints and drawings, sculpture, ethnic art, and information on the history of the Louvre itself. For the purpose of this report, the author stayed in the painting section of the collection area.

The Louvre hosts over 6,000 paintings stretching from the end of the 13th century to the mid 19th century ("Louvre," 2004). Unfortunately, not all 6,000 paintings are displayed on the Internet. Instead a small selection from many different time periods and regions are presented. Regions that are covered are: France, Italy, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Flanders, Holland, and Great Britain.

The metamorphosis the artists influence and style is easy to see. Starting in Italy in the 13th century the paintings are all very colorful, but are very one-dimensional. All but one painting is of religious nature. The one exception, Portrait of a Man by Messina, is a stunning work. It exhibits the bold interplay between light and dark. It also treats the subject with a 3 dimensional feel instead of the flat world of Messina's contemporaries.

The gallery of the 16th century in Italy contains one of the most...