The Louvre: The Many Lives of the World’s Most Famous Museum

This is an amazingly detailed book relating the history behind the place known as the Louvre, and the evolution of its buildings and land. There is also discussion of the different rulers during each period and what changes they made, if any on the property. Very well written, but at times so scholarly that it could be difficult to maintain my level of alertness. If there is anything you ever need to know about the building of, and/or changes made to the Louvre, the is the book for you.

While I enjoyed the book, it’s top notch, I think I was hoping for more of a virtual visit type book, which I’m sure are out there if I make the effort to look. You see, I went on a trip to London, Belgium, and Paris when I was about 12 years old with a group of other students, and while in Paris. I foolishly opted out of a chance to go to the Louvre, not understanding the significance of it.

Of course later on, I realized what I had passed up. Granted, a short visit would not have done it justice at all, but would have been better than nothing. I really had hoped to one day be able to return now that I’m aware of more of the history behind the treasures I would be looking at. I was just getting into that type of history when I went. So I’m enjoying this book a lot, but I also hope to find the other kind, until I hopefully get a chance to return and explore it for myself. Advanced electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author James Gardner, and the publisher.




Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press  –  416 pages
Expected Publication:  May 15th, 2020
My rating:  4/5 Stars


The Author-  James Gardner is an American art critic and literary critic based in New York and Buenos Aires and the author, most recently, of Buenos Aires: The Biography of a City. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New Republic, and the British Spectator. He was the art critic at the New York Post and wrote architecture criticism for the New York Observer, before serving as the architecture critic at the New York Sun. He is now a contributing editor at The Magazine Antiques. This is his sixth book.


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