The Louvre Museum was established in the 16th century with the collection of Francis the first. The collection grew steadily thanks to donations and purchases by the kings. The first state museum was opened in the Louvre in 1793. The central position held by the Louvre in the artistic life was magnified by Napoleon I, who began its Egyptian collection. The overall museum complex was completed under Napoleon III (r. 1852-70). Subsequently, the Louvre expanded its collections greatly through gifts and bequests. Its departments now include Oriental (ancient Mesopotamian), Greek and Roman, and Egyptian antiquities; sculptures from the Middle Age to modern times; furniture and objets d'art; and European paintings and drawings.
The museum has a collection of over 1 million works of art, of which about 35 000 are on display, spread out over three wings of the former palace.
Some of the most famous works of art in the museum are the Venus of Milo, the Nike of Samothrake, the Dying Slave by Michelangelo and of course all Leonardo da Vinci's painting and specifically the Mona Lisa.
Paintings from the Middle Ages up to the 19th century from across Europe are on the Richelieu wing, including many works from master painters such as Rubens and Rembrandt.
The Denon Wing is the most crowded area of the Louvre with the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. There are other masterpieces however, including the Wedding Feast at Cana from Veronese and the Consecration of Emperor Napoleon I by Jacques Louis David.
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