THE LOUVRE MUSEUM: SELECTED ART

The Louvre Museum is not just an ordinary museum. It is the world’s largest and also doubles up as a historic monument in the city of Paris. The museum has a collection of about 35000 pieces of art that date back to the prehistoric times to the present world. The Louvre Museum, according to The Art Newspaper (2015), receives the second highest number of visitors (9.3 million in 2014) in the world after the Palace Museum located in China. This paper will consider the renaissance period and two of the selected pieces in that period will be discussed.

Dresser

The item can be accessed by following the following link http://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/dresser. The Dresser is a 16th century piece of art that was made in France. It was intended to be a gift of Marquise Arconati Visconti according to the museum’s website. The Dresser measures 1.42m in height, 1.16m in width and 0.48m in length. The dresser was intended for displaying tableware. Households, depending on their economic class could display various items such as earthenware and copper for modest households while gold and silver were displayed in wealthier homes.

The Dresser is dark brown in color and has upper and lower sections with truncated corners. The whole item has columns, small in size which are encrusted with shell. The lower section of the Dresser is left open for the display of selected pieces which were deemed decorative. On the upper section, we have a two parts: upper part that has two doors and lower part with a single centrally positioned door. The doors have ornamental hinges that are cascaded by carved hinges.

The artist who curved the Dresser was interested in placing an exquisite display platform in the homes of those who could afford it. The Dresser at the time was seen as an item that brought elegance to the homes by being part of décor that supplemented the aestheticism of a home. The piece, when compared with other such pieces, show an evolution of the Dresser. The Dresser was fine tuned to incorporate the Italian decorative styles.

Shield

This 1572 piece of art was brought to life by goldsmith Pierre Redon and it measures 68cm in height and 49cm in width. It is a ceremonial shield that belonged to King Charles IX. The shield is a fine weaponry which was highly valued during the French Renaissance period. The shield was curved and structured from embossed iron with gold engrossed in it coupled with decorations of enamels which are translucent green, blue, red and white. Such enamels are strategically placed on the raised sections of the shield (to make them conspicuous). The reversed side of the shield is decorated with a crimson velvet covering that is embroidered with threads of gold.

In the 16th century, war was fought using what we would now perceive as archaic and crude. The weaponry consisted of horses, shields, bow and arrow, spears and machetes among others. Such a scene is depicted on the center of the shield with a medallion with a battle field engraved in it. The scene, as described by the museum is from a historical war that was fought between Marius (157-86 BC) and Jugurtha (160-104 BC) as can be derived from the Latin inscriptions on the shield. It is thought that the scene was chosen as it is classic remainder how the Greek and Romans had influence on the Renaissance. The shield, though ceremonial was a symbol of bravery and this could be the reason it was given to the king. Presentation of the shield as a present would therefore resonate well with this diction of bravery.

Works Cited

The Art Newspaper. (2015). Visitor Figures 2014: The Grand Totals: Exhibition and Museum Attendance Numbers Worldwide.

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