Sunday, May 17, 2020

The Louvre: The Many Lives of the World's Most Famous Museum

The Louvre: The Many Lives of the World's Most Famous Museum is a new retrospective for one of the world's most visited museums. Released 15th May 2020 by Grove Atlantic, it's 416 pages and available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats.

This is a really well written historical retrospective of the Louvre (including the site from ancient times) down to the modern era. The chapters are arranged chronologically starting with the very early settlement of "le louvre" through its medieval incarnation as a fortress, then palace, then more modern incarnation after the reign of terror as a museum and cultural pulse-point. The text is fascinating and historically rich and the author imbues the narrative with enough relevance that I never found it boring or dry at all.

In addition to the meticulous research and writing, the book is comprehensively annotated with reference notes and bibliography for further reading.  Many of the notes have links to web resources for more information. This would make a superlative selection for relevant classroom study in history or allied subjects including culture and art history.

Worth noting: This is not about the actual collections or art in the Louvre, the book is not abundantly illustrated. It is rather about the actual site of the physical buildings and how they have developed over the centuries.

Four stars. Well worth a read for lovers of history, culture, or the arts. Since it's not possible to visit the actual collections (except online), this was a nice stand-in. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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