Founded in the final years of the Enlightenment, the Louvre—with the greatest collection of Old Master paintings and antique sculpture assembled under one roof—became the model for all state art museums subsequently established. Andrew McClellan chronicles the formation of this great museum from its origins in the French royal picture collections to its apotheosis during the Revolution and Napoleonic Empire. More than a narrative history, McClellan's account explores the ideological underpinnings, pedagogic aims, and aesthetic criteria of the Louvre. Drawing on new archival materials, McClellan also illuminates the art world of eighteenth-century Paris.
Andrew McClellan is Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Art and Art History at Tufts University.