Some background

videos + essays

Link to the Louvre's website

<em>Winged Victory of Samothrace</em> with Laurence des Cars
Winged Victory of Samothrace with Laurence des Cars

While the movement of her body, buoyancy of her drapery and beating of her wings reflect the energy characteristic of the Hellenistic era, the artist and patron remain unknown. Learn more about this sculpture with Laurence des Cars, President and CEO of the Musée du Louvre.

Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, <em>Napoleon Bonaparte Visiting the Pest House in Jaffa</em>
Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, Napoleon Bonaparte Visiting the Pest House in Jaffa

Napoleon masterfully manipulated his image, and this painting meant for Parisian audiences is pure propaganda.

Delacroix, <em>Women of Algiers in Their Apartment</em>
Delacroix, Women of Algiers in Their Apartment

Delacroix's orientalist fantasy exhibited to great acclaim in the Paris Salon.

<em>Nike (Winged Victory) of Samothrace</em>
Nike (Winged Victory) of Samothrace

On the island of Samothrace, the wind whipped the clothing of this stone goddess of victory.

Théodore Géricault, <em>Raft of the Medusa</em>
Théodore Géricault, Raft of the Medusa

Géricault’s massive canvas takes its format from history painting, but its subject is ripped from the headlines.

A Byzantine vision of Paradise — The Harbaville Triptych
A Byzantine vision of Paradise — The Harbaville Triptych

This ivory triptych was an object of prayer and a vision of paradise for Byzantine viewers following iconoclasm

Peter Paul Rubens, <em>The Apotheosis of Henry IV and the Proclamation of the Regency of Marie de’ Médici</em>
Peter Paul Rubens, The Apotheosis of Henry IV and the Proclamation of the Regency of Marie de’ Médici

The painting is an overwhelming and learned piece of artistic propaganda.

Marie-Guillemine Benoist, <em>Portrait of Madeleine</em>
Marie-Guillemine Benoist, Portrait of Madeleine

This portrait of an unnamed woman speaks volumes about slavery, politics, and gender in revolutionary France.

Leonardo, <em>The Mona Lisa </em>
Leonardo, The Mona Lisa

Such a tease! This ambiguous portrait plays psychological and optical games with the viewer.

Seated Gudea holding temple plan
Seated Gudea holding temple plan

Shown with an architectural plan in his lap, this prince constructed temples to the gods and likenesses of himself.

Humanizing Mary: the Virgin of Jeanne d’Evreux
Humanizing Mary: the Virgin of Jeanne d’Evreux

Mary’s swaying hip, elongated neck, and tender touch of the Christ Child all imbue this golden sculpture with grace. A pomegranate signals death.

Vigée Le Brun, <em>Self-Portrait with her Daughter</em>
Vigée Le Brun, Self-Portrait with her Daughter

Artificial? Moi? This genuine portrait of familial affection challenged assumptions about the aristocracy.