Encyclopedic in its scope and exhausting in its magnitude, the Louvre has vast collections ranging from the 6th century B.C. to the mid-19th century. Its impressive architecture goes back 800 years, to its origins as a fortress guarding medieval Paris. In its contemporary incarnation, recently reconfigured and rebaptized "The Grand Louvre," it spreads over four levels and boasts more than 30,000 works of art; its galleries, shops, and offices occupy some 1.6 million square feet, of which some 645,000 are dedicated to exhibitions.
Such daunting dimensions can make the museum feel like an endless labyrinth to uninitiated visitors. For them, The Pocket Louvre
is a unique and essential resource, including:
-A handy user's guide with information about access to the museum and its many services, from cafes to a post office to shops.
-Suggested itineraries for visits of varying lengths and for visitors with differing interests.
-A history of the Louvre and its architecture.
-A history of the collections.
-An illustrated catalog of 500 masterpieces, all in color, with useful brief commentaries.