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100 chefs-d’œuvre du Louvre

Adrien Goetz

In step with the successful publications by Neil MacGregor, the boss at the British Museum, who decrypts the history of the world based on a few emblematic pieces from his museum, the Louvre is presenting its own book. It is written by Adrien Goetz who also presented chronicles over radio France-Culture in 2015. He is known for being a true lover of the hidden stories and the failings of the history of art. The Mona Lisa is the host, this unknown beauty who was not even noticed when the museum was founded, before becoming the most famous art work in the world. Other iconic works are also included such as the Venus of Milo, Vermeer’s Astronomer (Goering’s favourite painting) or Bathsheba by Rembrandt. They are all accompanied by objects that talk to us of the destiny of civilisations such as the Code of Hammurabi, the Squatting scribe or the Sarcophagus of the Spouses from Cerveteri. Each one of them delivers to us an excerpt of man’s destiny, tells us about their era, the turmoil in the world or simply the artist’s status. This is something like a choral symphony that reminds us of that specificity which major museums guard so preciously, faced with vandalism and requests for restitution: their universal mission is to be the depositaries of the beauty in the world. A beauty that is greatly threatened.

100 chefs-d’œuvre du Louvre by Adrien Goetz, Beaux Arts éditions/Louvre éditions, 2015, 312 p., €29.

100 chefs-d’œuvre du Louvre - Adrien Goetz

Review published in the newsletter #421 - from 10 March 2016 to 16 March 2016

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