art history meme | 1/2 museums: Musée du Louvre, Paris
The Louvre, in its successive architectural metamorphoses, has dominated central Paris since the late 12th century. Built on the city’s western edge, the original structure was gradually engulfed as the city grew. The dark fortress of the early days was transformed into the modernized dwelling of François I and, later, the sumptuous palace of the Sun King, Louis XIV. The reigns of Louis XIII and Louis XIV had a major impact on the Louvre and Tuileries palaces. The extension of the west wing of the Cour Carrée under Louis XIII marked the beginning of an ambitious program of work that would be completed by Louis XIV and added to by Louis XV, resulting in the Louvre that we see today. The glass Pyramid built by I. M. Pei was inaugurated on March 30, 1989. Rising from the center of the Cour Napoléon, it is the focal point of the museum’s main axes of circulation and also serves as an entrance to the large reception hall beneath.