The Louvre Paris about 1892

The Louvre Paris about 1892

THE LOUVRE PARIS — This splendid edifice, standing in the very heart of Paris, appeals to us in at least three ways. Its architecture is of the highest excellence and satisfies the eye from every point; its history is also full of interest; and finally, as a noble Treasure-house of Art, it becomes one of the most important buildings in the world. The foundation of the Louvre is of great antiquity, dating from the year 1200. It was used as a royal residence down to the time of Louis XIV, who removed the Court to the magnificent Palace of Versailles. Here was solemnized in 1572 the marriage between Henry IV, “the gallant Henry of Navarre,” and the fair Margaret of Valois; and five days later, on the night of the 24th of August, the signal was here given for the massacre of the Huguenots on the eve of “St. Bartholomew.” The window is shown where Charles IX fired that night on the crowd of fugitives. The two Napoleons greatly enlarged and embellished the Louvre, and formed the two long arms which finally united it with the palace of the Tuilleries. The Louvre collections of antiquities, gems, statuary and paintings, are of incalculable value, yet are opened freely to the public. Volumes are required merely to briefly catalogue the treasures here contained, the possession of which gives to Paris a transcendent importance for all students and lovers of art. Incredible as it would seem, in 1871 the communists tried to destroy this entire building with its priceless contents. It was a piece of vandalism which disgraces the nineteenth century. The Imperial Library of 90,000 volumes was thus destroyed, but happily the government troops arrived in time to prevent further losses. (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)

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