The Musée du Louvre (French pronunciation: [myze dy luvʁ])—in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre—is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, France, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement (district) (SONY PCG-5G2L battery). Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 19th century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres (652,300 square feet).
The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre) which began as a fortress built in the late 12th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace(SONY PCG-5G3L battery). In 1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre primarily as a place to display the royal collection, including, from 1692, a collection of antique sculpture. In 1692, the building was occupied by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres and the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which in 1699 held the first of a series of salons(SONY PCG-F305 battery). The Académie remained at the Louvre for 100 years. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum, to display the nation's masterpieces.
The museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property. Because of structural problems with the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801(SONY PCG-5J1L battery). The size of the collection increased under Napoleon and the museum was renamed the Musée Napoléon. After the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, many works seized by his armies were returned to their original owners. The collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, and during the Second French Empire the museum gained 20,000 pieces(SONY PCG-5J2L battery). Holdings have grown steadily through donations and gifts since the Third Republic. As of 2008, the collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings.
Medieval, Renaissance, and Bourbon palace
The only portion of the medieval Louvre still visible
Main article: Palais du Louvre
The Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre) which houses the museum was begun as a fortress by Philip II in the 12th century, with remnants of this building still visible in the crypt(SONY PCG-5K2L battery). Whether this was the first building on that spot is not known, but it is possible that Philip modified an existing tower. Although some believe that the word 'louvre' may refer to the structure's status as the largest in late 12th century Paris (from the French L'Œuvre, masterpiece) – or to its location in a forest (from the French rouvre, oak) – one finds in the authoritative Larousse that it derives from an association with wolf hunting den (SONY PCG-5L1L battery) (via Latin: lupus, lower Empire: lupara).
The Louvre Palace was altered frequently throughout the Middle Ages. In the 14th century, Charles V converted the building into a residence and in 1546, Francis I (François 1er ) renovated the site in French Renaissance style. Francis acquired what would become the nucleus of the Louvre's holdings, his acquisitions including Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa(SONY PCG-6S2L battery). After Louis XIV chose Versailles as his residence in 1682, constructions slowed; however, the move permitted the Louvre to be used as a residence for artists.
By the mid-18th century there was an increasing number of proposals to create a public gallery, with the art critic La Font de Saint-Yenne publishing, in 1747, a call for a display of the royal collection'. On 14 October 1750(SONY PCG-6S3L battery), Louis XV agreed and sanctioned a display of 96 pieces from the royal collection, mounted in the Galerie royale de peinture of the Luxembourg Palace. A hall was opened by Le Normant de Tournehem and the Marquis de Marigny for public viewing of the Tableaux du Roy on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and contained Andrea del Sarto's Charity and works by Raphael(SONY PCG-6V1L battery); Titian; Veronese; Rembrandt; Poussin or Van Dyck, until its closing in 1780 as a result of the gift of the palace to the comte de Provence by the king in 1778. Under Louis XVI, the royal museum idea became policy. The comte d'Angiviller broadened the collection and in 1776 proposed conversion of the Grande Galerie of the Louvre – which contained maps(SONY PCG-6W1L battery) – into the "French Museum". Many proposals were offered for the Louvre's renovation into a museum, however none was agreed on. Hence the museum remained incomplete until the French Revolution.
During the French Revolution the Louvre was transformed into a public museum. In May 1791, the Assembly declared that the Louvre would be "a place for bringing together monuments of all the sciences and arts". On 10 August 1792, Louis XVI was imprisoned and the royal collection in the Louvre became national property(SONY PCG-7111L battery). Because of fear of vandalism or theft, on 19 August, the National Assembly pronounced the museum's preparation as urgent. In October, a committee to "preserve the national memory" began assembling the collection for display.
Antonio Canova's Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss was commissioned in 1787, donated in 1824. (SONY PCG-71511M battery)
The museum opened on 10 August 1793, the first anniversary of the monarchy's demise. The public was given free access on three days per week, which was "perceived as a major accomplishment and was generally appreciated". The collection showcased 537 paintings and 184 objects of art. Three quarters were derived from the royal collections, the remainder from confiscated émigrés and Church property (biens nationaux) (SONY PCG-6W3L battery). To expand and organize the collection, the Republic dedicated 100,000 livres per year. In 1794, France's revolutionary armies began bringing pieces from across Europe, such as Laocoön and His Sons and the Apollo Belvedere, to establish the Louvre as a museum and as a "sign of popular sovereignty"(SONY PCG-7113L battery).
The early days were hectic; artists lived in residence, and the unlabelled paintings hung "frame to frame from floor to ceiling". The building itself closed in May 1796 because of structural deficiencies. It reopened on 14 July 1801, arranged chronologically and with new lighting and columns(SONY PCG-7133L battery).
Under Napoleon I, a northern wing paralleling the Grande Galérie was begun, and the collection grew through successful military campaigns. Following the Egyptian campaign of 1798–1801, Napoléon appointed the museum's first director, Dominique Vivant Denon. In tribute, the museum was renamed the "Musée Napoléon" in 1803, and acquisitions were made of Spanish(SONY PCG-7Z1L battery), Austrian, Dutch, and Italian works, either as spoils or through treaties such as the Treaty of Tolentino. After the French defeat at Waterloo, the works' former owners sought their return. The Louvre's administrators were loath to comply and hid many works in their private collections. In response, foreign states sent emissaries to London to seek help, and many pieces were returned, even some that had been restored by the Louvre. (SONY PCG-7Z2L battery) In 1815 Louis XVIII finally concluded agreements with Italy for the keeping of pieces such as Veronese's Wedding at Cana which was exchanged for a large Le Brun or the repurchase of the Albani collection.
Restoration and Second Empire
The Venus de Milo was added to the Louvre's collection during the reign of Louis XVIII.
During the Restoration (1814–30), Louis XVIII and Charles X between them added 135 pieces at a cost of 720,000 francs and created the department of Egyptian antiquities curated by Champollion(SONY PCG-8Y1L battery), increased by more than 7,000 works with the acquisition of the Durand, Salt or second Drovetti collections. This was less than the amount given for rehabilitation of Versailles, and the Louvre suffered relative to the rest of Paris. After the creation of the French Second Republic in 1848, the new government allocated two million francs for repair work and ordered the completion of the Galerie d'Apollon(SONY PCG-8Y2L battery), the Salon Carré, and the Grande Galérie. In 1861, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte bought 11,835 artworks including 641 paintings of the Campana collection. During the Second French Empire, between 1852 and 1870, the French economy grew; by 1870 the museum had added 20,000 new pieces to its collections, and the Pavillon de Flore and the Grande Galérie were remodelled under architects Louis Visconti and Hector Lefuel. (SONY PCG-8Z2L battery)
Third Republic and World Wars
During the French Third Republic the Louvre acquired new pieces mainly via donations and gifts. The Société des Amis du Louvre donated the Pietà of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, and in 1863 an expedition uncovered the sculpture Winged Victory of Samothrace in the Aegean Sea. This piece, though heavily damaged, has been prominently displayed since 1884. (SONY PCG-8Z1L battery) The 583-item Collection La Caze donated in 1869, included works by Chardin; Fragonard; Rembrandt – such as Bathsheba at Her Bath – and Gilles by Watteau. Museum expansion slowed after World War I, and the collection did not acquire many significant new works; exceptions were Georges de La Tour's Saint Thomas and Baron Edmond de Rothschild's (1845–1934) 1935 donation of 4,000 engravings, 3,000 drawings, and 500 illustrated books. (SONY PCG-7112L battery)
During World War II the museum removed most of the art and hid valuable pieces. When Germany occupied the Sudetenland, many important artworks such as the Mona Lisa were temporarily moved to the Château de Chambord. When war was formally declared a year later, most of the museum's paintings were sent there as well(SONY PCG-6W2L battery). Select sculptures such as Winged Victory of Samothrace and the Venus de Milo were sent to the Château de Valençay. On 27 August 1939, after two days of packing, truck convoys began to leave Paris. By 28 December, the museum was cleared of most works, except those that were too heavy and "unimportant paintings [that] were left in the basement". In early 1945, after the liberation of France, art began returning to the Louvre. (SONY PCG-5K1L battery)
Grand Louvre and the Pyramids
Main article: Louvre Pyramid
By 1874, the Louvre Palace had achieved its present form of an almost rectangular structure with the Sully Wing to the east containing the square Cour Carrée and the oldest parts of the Louvre; and two wings which wrap the Cour Napoléon, the Richelieu Wing to the north and the Denon Wing, which borders the Seine to the south. In 1983, French President François Mitterrand proposed(SONY VGP-BPS8 battery), as one of the Grands Projets of François Mitterrand the Grand Louvre plan to renovate the building and relocate the Finance Ministry, allowing displays throughout the building. Architect I. M. Pei was awarded the project and proposed a glass pyramid to stand over a new entrance in the main court, the Cour Napoléon. The pyramid and its underground lobby were inaugurated on 15 October 1988(SONY VGP-BPS8A battery). The second phase of the Grand Louvre plan, La Pyramide Inversée (The Inverted Pyramid), was completed in 1993. As of 2002, attendance had doubled since completion.
The Musée du Louvre contains more than 380,000 objects and displays 1 works of art in eight curatorial departments with more than 60,600 square metres (652,000 sq ft) dedicated to the permanent collection. The Louvre exhibits sculptures, objets d'art, paintings, drawings, and archaeological finds. It is the world's most visited museum(SONY VGP-BPL8 battery), averaging 15,000 visitors per day, 65 percent of whom are foreign tourists. In popular culture, the Louvre was a point of interest in the book The Da Vinci Code and the 2006 film based on the book. The museum earned $2.5 million by allowing filming in its galleries.
The Mona Lisa is the Louvre's most popular attraction.
The Louvre is owned by the French government; however, since the nineties it has become more independent. Since 2003, the museum has been required to generate funds for projects. By 2006, government funds had dipped from 75 percent of the total budget to 62 percent(SONY VGP-BPS9 battery). In 2008, the French government provided $180 million of the Louvre's yearly $350 million budget; the remainder came from private contributions and ticket sales.
The Louvre employs a staff of 2,000 led by Director Henri Loyrette, who reports to the French Ministry of Culture and Communications. Under Loyrette, who replaced Pierre Rosenberg in 2001, the Louvre has undergone policy changes that allow it to lend and borrow more works than before. (SONY VGP-BPS9/S battery) In 2006, it loaned 1,300 works, which enabled it to borrow more foreign works. From 2006 to 2009, the Louvre lent artwork to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, and received a $6.9 million payment to be used for renovations. In addition, the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi generated further income for the museum. Loyrette has tried to improve weak parts of the collection through income generated from loans of art and by guaranteeing that "20% (SONY VGP-BPS9A battery)of admissions receipts will be taken annually for acquisitions". He has more administrative independence for the museum and achieved 90 percent of galleries to be open daily, as opposed to 80 percent previously. He oversaw the creation of extended hours and free admission on Friday nights and an increase in the acquisition budget to $36 million from $4.5 million. (SONY VGP-BPS9A/B battery)
Main article: Louvre-Lens
In 2004, French officials decided to build a satellite museum on the site of an abandoned coal pit in the former mining town of Lens to relieve the crowded Paris Louvre, increase total museum visits, and improve the industrial north's economy. Six cities were considered for the project: Amiens, Arras, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Calais, Lens, and Valenciennes. In 2004, French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin chose Lens to be the site of the new building, called Le Louvre-Lens(SONY VGP-BPS9/B battery). Museum officials predicted that the new building, capable of receiving about 600 works of art, would attract up to 500,000 visitors a year when it opened in 2009.
Main article: Louvre Abu Dhabi
In March 2007, the Louvre announced that a Louvre museum would be completed by 2012 in Abu Dhabi. A 30-year agreement, signed by French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres and Sheik Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, will establish the museum in downtown Abu Dhabi in exchange for €832,000,000 (US$1.3 billion) (SONY VGP-BPS9A/S battery). The Louvre Abu Dhabi, designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel and the engineering firm of Buro Happold, will occupy 24,000 square metres (260,000 sq ft) and will be covered by a roof shaped like a flying saucer. France agreed to rotate between 200 and 300 artworks during a 10-year period; to provide management expertise; and to provide four temporary exhibitions a year for 15 years. The art will come from multiple museums(SONY VGP-BPL9 battery), including the Louvre, the Georges Pompidou Centre, the Musée d'Orsay, Versailles, the Musée Guimet, the Musée Rodin, and the Musée du quai Branly.
The Louvre is involved in controversies that surround cultural property seized under Napoleon I and during World War II by the Nazis. After Nazi occupation, 61,233 articles on more than 150,000 seized artworks returned to France and were assigned to the Office des Biens Privés. In 1949 it entrusted 2130 remaining unclaimed pieces (including 1001 paintings) (SONY VGP-BPS10 battery) to the Direction des Musées de France in order to keep them under appropriate conditions of conservation until their restitution, and meanwhile classified them as MNRs (Musees Nationaux Recuperation or, in English : National Museums of Recovered Artwork). Some 10 % to 35 % of the pieces are believed to come from Jewish spoliations and until the identification of their rightful owners, which declined at the end of the 1960s, they are registered indefinitely on separate inventories from the museums collections(SONY VGP-BPL10 battery).
They were exhibited in 1946 and shown all together to the public during four years (1950–1954) in order to allow rightful claimants to identify their properties, then stored or exposed, according to their interest, in several French museums including the Louvre. From 1951 to 1965, about 37 pieces were restituted. Since November 1996(SONY VGP-BPS11 battery), the partly illustrated catalogue of 1947–1949 has been accessible online and completed. In 1997, Prime Minister Alain Juppé initiated the Mattéoli Commission, headed by Jean Mattéoli, to investigate the matter and according to the government, the Louvre is in charge of 678 pieces of still unclaimed artworks by their rightful owners. During the late 1990s the comparison of the American war archives(SONY VGP-BPL11 battery), which had not been done before, with the French and German ones as well as two court cases which finally settled some of the heirs' rights (Gentili di Giuseppe and Rosenberg families) allowed more accurate investigations. Since 1996, the restitutions, according sometimes to less formal criteria, concerned 47 more pieces (26 paintings, with 6 from the Louvre including a then displayed Tiepolo), until the last claims of French owners and their heirs ended again in 2006(SONY VGP-BPL12 battery).
According to Serge Klarsfeld, since the now complete and constant publicity which the artworks got in 1996, the majority of the French Jewish community is nevertheless in favour of the return to the normal French civil rule of prescription acquisitive of any unclaimed good after another long period of time and consequently to their ultimate integration into the common French heritage instead of their transfer to foreign institutions like during World War II(SONY VGP-BPS12 battery).
Napoleon's campaigns acquired Italian pieces by treaties, as war reparations, and Northern European pieces as spoils as well as some antiquities excavated in Egypt, though the vast majority of the latter were seized as war reparations by the British army and are now part of collections of the British Museum. On the other hand, the Dendera zodiac is, like the Rosetta stone(SONY VGP-BPS13 battery), claimed by Egypt even though it was acquired in 1821, before the Egyptian Anti-export legislation of 1835. The Louvre administration has thus argued in favor of retaining this item despite requests by Egypt for its return. The museum participates too in arbitration sessions held via UNESCO's Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to Its Countries of Origin. The museum consequently returned in 2009 five Egyptian fragments of frescoes (30 cm x 15 cm each) (SONY VGP-BPS13Q battery) whose existence of the tomb of origin had only been brought to the authorities attention in 2008, eight to five years after their good-faith acquisition by the museum from two private collections and after the necessary respect of the procedure of déclassement from French public collections before the Commission scientifique nationale des collections des musées de France. (SONY VGP-BPS13A/Q battery)
The Seated Scribe from Saqqara, Egypt, limestone and alabaster, circa 2600 and 2350 BC
The Musée du Louvre contains more than 380,000 objects and displays 35,000 works of art in eight curatorial departments.
The department, comprising over 50,000 pieces, includes artifacts from the Nile civilizations which date from 4,000 BC to the 4th century. The collection, among the world's largest, overviews Egyptian life spanning Ancient Egypt(SONY VGP-BPS13B/Q battery), the Middle Kingdom, the New Kingdom, Coptic art, and the Roman, Ptolemaic, and Byzantine periods. The department's origins lie in the royal collection, but it was augmented by Napoleon's 1798 expeditionary trip with Dominique Vivant, the future director of the Louvre. After Jean-François Champollion translated the Rosetta Stone, Charles X decreed that an Egyptian Antiquities department be created(SONY VGP-BPS13/B battery). Champollion advised the purchase of three collections, the Durand, Salt and Drovetti; these additions added 7,000 works. Growth continued via acquisitions by Auguste Mariette, founder of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Mariette, after excavations at Memphis, sent back crates of archaeological finds including The Seated Scribe. (SONY VGP-BPS13B/B battery)
Guarded by the Large Sphinx (c. 2000 BC), the collection is housed in more than 20 rooms. Holdings include art, papyrus scrolls, mummies, tools, clothing, jewelry, games, musical instruments, and weapons. Pieces from the ancient period include the Gebel el-Arak Knife from 3400 BC, The Seated Scribe, and the Head of King Djedefre. Middle Kingdom art(SONY VGP-BPS13A/S battery), "known for its gold work and statues", moved from realism to idealization; this is exemplified by the schist statue of Amenemhatankh and the wooden Offering Bearer. The New Kingdom and Coptic Egyptian sections are deep, but the statue of the goddess Nephthys and the limestone depiction of the goddess Hathor demonstrate New Kingdom sentiment and wealth. (SONY VGP-BPS21A/B battery)
Human-headed winged bull (shedu), Assyria, limestone, 8th century BC.
Near Eastern antiquities
Near Eastern antiquities, the second newest department, dates from 1881 and presents an overview of early Near Eastern civilization and "first settlements", before the arrival of Islam. The department is divided into three geographic areas: the Levant, Mesopotamia (Iraq), and Persia (Iran) . The collection's development corresponds to archaeological work such as Paul-Émile Botta's 1843 expedition to Khorsabad and the discovery of Sargon II's palace. (SONY VGP-BPS21B battery) These finds formed the basis of the Assyrian museum, the precursor to today's department.
The museum contains exhibits from Sumer and the city of Akkad, with monuments such as the Prince of Lagash's Stele of the Vultures from 2,450 BC and the stele erected by Naram-Sin, King of Akkad, to celebrate a victory over barbarians in the Zagros Mountains. The 2.25-metre (7.38 ft) Code of Hammurabi(SONY VGP-BPS21 battery), discovered in 1901, displays Babylonian Laws prominently, so that no man could plead their ignorance.
The Persian portion of Louvre contains work from the archaic period, like the Funerary Head and the Persian Archers of Darius I. This section also contains rare objects from Persepolis which were also lent to British Museum for its Ancient Persia exihibition in 2005.
The Nike of Samothrace (winged Victory), marble, circa 190 BC
Greek, Etruscan, and Roman(SONY VGP-BPS21/S battery)
The Greek, Etruscan, and Roman department displays pieces from the Mediterranean Basin dating from the Neolithic to the 6th century. The collection spans from the Cycladic period to the decline of the Roman Empire. This department is one of the museum's oldest; it began with appropriated royal art, some of which was acquired under Francis I. (SONY VGP-BPS13AS battery)Initially, the collection focused on marble sculptures, such as the Venus de Milo. Works such as the Apollo Belvedere arrived during the Napoleonic Wars, but these pieces were returned after Napoleon I's fall in 1815. In the 19th century, the Louvre acquired works including vases from the Durand collection, bronzes such as the Borghese Vase from the Bibliothèque nationale. (SONY VGP-BPS13S battery)
The archaic is demonstrated by jewellery and pieces such as the limestone Lady of Auxerre, from 640 BC; and the cylindrical Hera of Samos, circa 570–560 BC. After the 4th century BC, focus on the human form increased, exemplified by the Borghese Gladiator. The Louvre holds masterpieces from the Hellenistic era, including The Winged Victory of Samothrace (190 BC) and the Venus de Milo, symbolic of classical art(SONY VGP-BPS13B/S battery). The long Galerie Campana displays an outstanding collection of more than one thousand Greek potteries. In the galleries paralleling the Seine, much of the museum's Roman sculpture is displayed. The Roman portraiture is representative of that genre; examples include the portraits of Agrippa and Annius Verus; among the bronzes is the Greek Apollo of Piombino(SONY VGP-BPS13B/G battery).
Casket, ivory and silver, Muslim Spain, 966
The Islamic art collection, the museum's newest, spans "thirteen centuries and three continents". These exhibits, comprising ceramics, glass, metalware, wood, ivory, carpet, textiles, and miniatures, include more than 5,000 works and 1,000 shards. Originally part of the decorative arts department, the holdings became separate in 2003(SONY VGP-BPS14 battery). Among the works are the Pyxide d'al-Mughira, a 10th century ivory box from Andalusia; the Baptistery of Saint-Louis, an engraved brass basin from the 13th or 14 century Mamluk period; and the 10th century Shroud of Josse from Iran. The collection contains three pages of the Shahnameh, an epic book of poems by Ferdowsi in Persian, and a Syrian metalwork named the Barberini Vase. (SONY VGP-BPL14 battery)
Tomb of Philippe Pot, governor of Burgundy under Louis XI, by Antoine Le Moiturier
The sculpture department comprises work created before 1850 that does not belong in the Etruscan, Greek, and Roman department. The Louvre has been a repository of sculpted material since its time as a palace; however, only ancient architecture was displayed until 1824, except for Michelangelo's Dying Slave and Rebellious Slave. (SONY VGP-BPS14/B battery)Initially the collection included only 100 pieces, the rest of the royal sculpture collection being at Versailles. It remained small until 1847, when Léon Laborde was given control of the department. Laborde developed the medieval section and purchased the first such statues and sculptures in the collection, King Childebert and stanga door, respectively. The collection was part of the Department of Antiquities but was given autonomy in 1871 under Louis Courajod(SONY VGP-BPS14/S battery), a director who organized a wider representation of French works. In 1986, all post-1850 works were relocated to the new Musée d'Orsay. The Grand Louvre project separated the department into two exhibition spaces; the French collection is displayed in the Richelieu wing, and foreign works in the Denon wing.
The collection's overview of French sculpture contains Romanesque works such as the 11th century Daniel in the Lions' Den and the 12th century Virgin of Auvergne(SONY VGP-BPS14B battery). In the 16th century, Renaissance influence caused French sculpture to become more restrained, as seen in Jean Goujon's bas-reliefs, and Germain Pilon's Descent from the Cross and Resurrection of Christ. The 17th and 18th centuries are represented by Étienne Maurice Falconet's Woman Bathing and Amour menaçant and François Anguier's obelisks. Neoclassical works includes Antonio Canova's Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss (1787) (SONY VGP-BPS22 battery).
French stained glass panel, 13 century, depicting Saint Blaise
The Objets d'art collection spans from the Middle Ages to the mid-19th century. The department began as a subset of the sculpture department, based on royal property and the transfer of work from the Basilique Saint-Denis, the burial ground of French monarchs that held the Coronation Sword of the Kings of France. Among the budding collection's most prized works were pietre dure vases and bronzes(SONY VGP-BPS22 battery). The Durand collection's 1825 acquisition added "ceramics, enamels, and stained glass", and 800 pieces were given by Pierre Révoil. The onset of Romanticism rekindled interest in Renaissance and Medieval artwork, and the Sauvageot donation expanded the department with 1,500 middle-age and faïence works. In 1862, the Campana collection added gold jewelry and maiolicas, mainly from the 15th and 16th centuries. (SONY VGP-BPS18 battery)
The works are displayed on the Richelieu Wing's first floor and in the Apollo Gallery, named by the painter Charles Le Brun, who was commissioned by Louis XIV (the Sun King) to decorate the space in a solar theme. The medieval collection contains the coronation crown of Louis XIV, Charles V's sceptre, and the 12th century porphyry vase. (SONY VGP-BPS22/A battery)The Renaissance art holdings include Giambologna's bronze Nessus and Deianira and the tapestry Maximillian's Hunt. From later periods, highlights include Madame de Pompadour's Sèvres vase collection and Napoleon III's apartments.
The Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci, oil on panel, 1503–19, probably completed while the artist was at the court of Francis I(SONY VGP-BPS22A battery).
In September 2000, the Louvre Museum dedicated the Gilbert Chagoury and Rose-Marie Chagoury Gallery to display tapestries donated by the Chagoury's, including a 16th century six-part tapestry, sewn with gold and silver threads representing sea divinities, which was commissioned in Paris for Colbert de Seignelay, then Secretary of State for the Navy(SONY Vaio VGN-CR120E/W battery).
Further information: List of works in the Louvre
The painting collection has more than 7,500 works from the 13th century to 1848 and is managed by 12 curators who oversee the collection's display. Nearly two-thirds are by French artists, and more than 1,200 are Northern European. The Italian paintings compose most of the remnants of Francis I and Louis XIV's collections, others are unreturned artwork from the Napoleon era, and some were bought(SONY Vaio VGN-CR120E/R battery). The collection began with Francis, who acquired works from Italian masters such as Raphael and Michelangelo, and brought Leonardo da Vinci to his court. After the French Revolution, the Royal Collection formed the nucleus of the Louvre. When the d'Orsay train station was converted into the Musée d'Orsay in 1986, the collection was split(SONY Vaio VGN-CR120E/P battery), and pieces completed after the 1848 Revolution were moved to the new museum. French and Northern European works are in the Richelieu wing and Cour Carrée; Spanish and Italian paintings are on the first floor of the Denon wing.
Exemplifying the French School are the early Avignon Pietà of Enguerrand Quarton; the anonymous painting of King Jean le Bon (c.1360), possibly the oldest independent portrait in Western painting to survive from the postclassical era(SONY Vaio VGN-CR120E/L battery); Hyacinthe Rigaud's Louis XIV; Jacques-Louis David's The Coronation of Napoleon; and Eugène Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People. Northern European works include Johannes Vermeer's The Lacemaker and The Astronomer; Caspar David Friedrich's The Tree of Crows; Rembrandt's The Supper at Emmaus, Bathsheba at Her Bath, and The Slaughtered Ox.
The Italian holdings are notable, particularly the Renaissance collection. The works include Andrea Mantegna and Giovanni Bellini's Calvarys(SONY Vaio VGN-CR120E battery), which reflect realism and detail "meant to depict the significant events of a greater spiritual world". The High Renaissance collection includes Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, Virgin and Child with St. Anne, St. John the Baptist, and Madonna of the Rocks. Caravaggio is represented by The Fortune Teller and Death of the Virgin. From 16th century Venice, the Louvre displays Titian's Le Concert Champetre, The Entombment and The Crowning with Thorns(SONY Vaio VGN-CR120 battery).
Three lion-like heads, Charles le Brun, France, pen and wash on squared paper, 1671
The La Caze Collection, a bequest to the Musée du Louvre in 1869 by Louis La Caze was the largest contribution of a person in the history of the Louvre. La Caze gave 584 paintings of his personal collection to the museum. The bequest included Antoine Watteau's Commedia dell'arte player of Pierrot ("Gilles"). In 2007, this bequest was the topic of the exhibition "1869: Watteau, Chardin... entrent au Louvre. La collection La Caze".(SONY Vaio VGN-CR11H/B battery)
Some of the best known paintings of the museum have been digitized by the French Center for Research and Restoration of the Museums of France.
Prints and drawings
The prints and drawings department encompasses works on paper. The origins of the collection were the 8,600 works in the Royal Collection (Cabinet du Roi), which were increased via state appropriation, purchases such as the 1,200 works from Fillipo Baldinucci's collection in 1806, and donations. The department opened on 5 August 1797(SONY Vaio VGN-CR116E battery), with 415 pieces displayed in the Galerie d'Apollon. The collection is organized into three sections: the core Cabinet du Roi, 14,000 royal copper printing-plates, and the donations of Edmond de Rothschild, which include 40,000 prints, 3,000 drawings, and 5,000 illustrated books. The holdings are displayed in the Pavillon de Flore; due to the fragility of the paper medium, only a portion are displayed at one time. (SONY Vaio VGN-CR116 battery)
Location, access and facilities
A map of the Louvre in the 1er arrondissement of Paris. Metro lines serving the area are shown, with stations colored red. Note that the RER is not shown. Landmarks are in black.
The museum lies in the centre of Paris on the Right Bank. The neighborhood, known as the 1st arrondissement, is home to the destroyed Palais des Tuileries. The adjacent Tuileries Gardens, created in 1564 by Catherine de Medici, was designed in 1664 by André Le Nôtre(SONY Vaio VGN-CR115E battery). The gardens house the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume, a contemporary art museum that was used to store Jewish cultural property from 1940 to 1944. Parallel to the Jeu de Paume is the Orangerie, home to the famous Water Lilies paintings by Claude Monet.
The Louvre is slightly askew of the axe historique (Historic Axis), a roughly eight-kilometre (five-mile) architectural line bisecting the city. It begins on the east in the Louvre courtyard and runs west along the Champs-Élysées(SONY Vaio VGN-CR115 battery). In 1871, the burning of the Tuileries Palace by the Paris Commune revealed that the Louvre was slightly askew of the Axe despite past appearances to the contrary. The Louvre can be reached by the Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre Métro or the Louvre-Rivoli stations.
There are three entrances: the main entrance at the pyramid, an entrance from the Carrousel du Louvre underground shopping mall, and an entrance at the Porte des Lions (near the western end of the Denon wing) (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ11S battery).
Under the main entrance to the museum is the Carrousel du Louvre, a shopping mall operated by Unibail-Rodamco. Among other stores, it has the first Apple Store in France, and a McDonald's restaurant, the presence of which has created controversy.
The use of cameras and video recorders is permitted inside. Use of flashes is forbidden.
Chanel S.A. (French: [ʃanɛl], English: /ʃəˈnɛl/) is the French house of high fashion that specializes in haute couture and ready-to-wear clothes, luxury goods, and fashion accessories. (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ15T battery)In her youth, the couturière Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel gained the soubriquet “Coco” in the course of her career as a chanteuse de café in provincial France. As a fashion designer, Coco Chanel catered to a woman’s taste for elegance in dress, with blouses and suits, trousers and dresses, and jewellry (gemstone and bijouterie) of simple design, that replaced the opulent, over-designed(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ15G battery), and constrictive clothes and accessories of the 19th-century fashion. Historically, the House of Chanel is most famous for the stylistically versatile “little black dress”, the perfume No. 5 de Chanel, and the Chanel Suit. As a business enterprise, Chanel S.A. is a privately held company owned by Alain Wertheimer and Gerard Wertheimer, grandsons of Pierre Wertheimer(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ460E battery), an early business partner of Coco Chanel. Commercially, the brands of the House of Chanel have been personified by fashion models and actresses, by women such as Inès de la Fressange, Catherine Deneuve, Carole Bouquet, Vanessa Paradis, Nicole Kidman, Anna Mouglalis, Audrey Tautou, Keira Knightley, and Marilyn Monroe, who epitomise the independent, self-confident Chanel Girl. (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ11L battery)
Coco Chanel (1920)
As a couturière, the milliner and dressmaker Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel presented and established new clothing and costume designs that promoted women from being male objects of conspicuous consumption and sexual display, to being persons who dressed for themselves, in comfortable clothes that allowed free movement; as such(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ11Z battery), the practical application of jersey fabric to the construction of clothes was one technical innovation that made the garments popular and affordable. Chanel revolutionized fashion — haute couture and prêt-à-porter — by replacing the structured-silhouette fashions, based upon the corset and the bodice, with garments of simple design that were cut and confected to be functional, and to aesthetically enhance the woman’s figure, in action and in repose(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ11M battery).
In the 1920s, the simple-line designs of Chanel couture made popular the “flat-chested” fashions that were the opposite of the hourglass-figure achieved by the restrictively structured and ornate fashions of the late 19th century — the Belle Époque of France (ca. 1890–1914), and the British Edwardian Era (ca. 1901–1919). Besides comfortable wear(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ18M battery), Chanel’s stylish and functional clothes were complemented by the suppleness of jersey fabric, which allowed the modern, 20th-century-woman to live and practice an active style of life; colour-wise, the fashion designer Coco Chanel used traditionally masculine colours, such as grey and navy blue, to connote boldness of character. (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ18 battery)
The clothes of the House of Chanel also are known for quilted fabric and leather trimmings; the quilted construction of the garment reinforces the fabric, the design, and the finish, which produce a garment confected to maintain its form and function in every circumstance. The notable example of such haute couture techniques is the woolen Chanel Suit —(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ210CE battery)a knee-length skirt and a cardigan-style jacket, trimmed and decorated with black embroidery and gold-coloured buttons. The complementary accessories are two-tone pump shoes and jewellry (gemstone and bijouterie), usually a necklace of pearls, and a leather handbag. Moreover, the great financial, commercial, and cultural successes of perfume No. 5 increased public recognition of the House of Chanel(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31S battery), desire for its haute couture designs, demand for the prêt-à-porter clothes, and enhanced the artistic reputation of the couturière Coco Chanel; and, in lean times, perfume kept Chanel solvent.
The Coco Chanel era
Establishment and recognition — 1909–1920s
The actress Gabrielle Dorziat wearing a Chanel plumed hat. (1912)
Fashion before Chanel: The artificial bust, waist, and hips of corsetry. (Bianca Lyons,1902)
The Chanel Suit 2009: a tailored cardigan-style jacket, knee-length skirt, two-toned shoes, jewellry, and a leather handbag(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31Z battery).
The House of Chanel (Chanel S.A.) originated in 1909, when Gabrielle Chanel opened a millinery shop at 160 Boulevard Malesherbes, the ground floor of the Parisian flat of the socialite and textile businessman Étienne Balsan, of whom she was mistress. Hence, because the Balsan flat also was a salon for the French hunting and sporting élite, Chanel had opportunity to meet their demi-mondaine mistresses, who, as such, were women of fashion(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31E battery), upon whom the rich men displayed their wealth — as ornate clothes, jewelry, and hats; Coco Chanel thus could sell to them the hats she designed and made; she thus earned a living, independent of her financial sponsor, the socialite Balsan. In the course of those salons Coco Chanel befriended Arthur ‘Boy’ Capel, an English socialite and polo player friend of Étienne Balsan; per the upper class social custom(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31J battery), Chanel also became mistress to Boy Capel. Nonetheless, despite that social circumstance, Boy Capel perceived the businesswoman innate to Coco Chanel, and, in 1910, financed her first independent millinery shop, Chanel Modes, at 21 rue Cambon, Paris; yet, because that locale already housed a dress shop, the business-lease limited Chanel to selling only millinery products, not couture. Two years later, in 1913(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31M battery), the Deauville and Biarritz couture shops of Coco Chanel offered for sale prêt-à-porter sports clothes for women, the practical designs of which allowed the wearer to play sport.
The economic imperatives of national military victory in First World War (1914–18) affected European fashion through scarcity of materials, and the socio-economic mobilisation of women — from objects of sexual desire and economic display — to productive workers(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31B battery). Besides active military service, the enforced and increased production of coal made men scarce in the factories and in the fields, where they were replaced by women. Until that time — the end of 19th-century culture — fashion for women was about the masculine display of conspicuous consumption, so, clothes makers and designers then had to produce practical and protective garments that would allow women the physical freedom required to do a man’s job(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ32 battery) — in factory and field — in order to supply the French war effort against Imperial Germany (1871–1918). By that time, Chanel had opened a large dress shop at 31 rue Cambon, near the Hôtel Ritz, in Paris; among the clothes for sale were flannel blazers, straight-line skirts of linen, sailor blouses, long sweaters made of jersey fabric, and skirt-and-jacket suits. Technically, besides its relative low cost, as a couturière(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ410 battery), Coco Chanel used jersey cloth because of its physical properties as a garment, such as its drape — how it falls upon and falls from the body of the woman — and how well it adapted to the simple garment-design that allowed the wearer freedom of movement, physical comfort, and flattering aesthetics. Sartorially, some of Chanel’s designs derived from the military uniforms made prevalent by the War to End all Wars(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21 battery); and, by 1915, the designs and the clothes confected by the House of Chanel were known throughout France.
In 1915 and in 1917, Harper’s Bazaar magazine reported that the garments of the House of Chanel were “on the list of every buyer” for the clothing factories of Europe. The Chanel dress shop at 31 rue Cambon presented day-wear dress-and-coat ensembles of simple design, and black evening dresses trimmed with lace; and tulle-fabric dresses decorated with jet(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21S battery), a minor gemstone material; the high-quality confection (design, construction, finish) of such clothes established the professional reputation of Coco Chanel as a meticulous couturière. After the First World War, the House of Chanel, following the fashion trends of the 1920s, produced beaded dresses, made especially popular by the Flapper woman. Moreover, by 1920, Chanel had designed and presented a woman’s suit of clothes (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21M battery)— composed either of two garments or of three garments — which allowed a woman to have a modern, feminine appearance, whilst being comfortable and practical to maintain; advocated as the “new uniform for afternoon and evening”, it became known as the Chanel Suit. In 1921, to complement the suit of clothes, Coco Chanel commissioned the perfumer Ernest Beaux to create a perfume for the House of Chanel, and he produced several échantillons, including the perfume No.5(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ38M battery), named after the number of the sample Chanel liked best. Originally, a flaçon of No. 5 de Chanel was a gift to regular clients of Chanel — yet, the popularity of the perfume prompted the House of Chanel to offer it for retail sale in 1922; in the event, No. 5 de Chanel became the signature fragrance of the couturière and of her house of couture. In 1923, to explain the success of her clothes, Coco Chanel told Harper’s Bazaar magazine that design “simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.” (Sony VAIO VGN-S battery)
Business partners — late 1920s
The success of the No. 5 encouraged Coco Chanel to expand perfume sales beyond France and Europe, and to develop other parfumerie — for which she required investment capital, business acumen, and commercial access to the North American market. To that end, the businessman Théophile Bader (founder of Galeries Lafayette) introduced the venture capitalist Pierre Wertheimer to the couturière Coco Chanel(Sony VAIO VGN-SZ battery). Their business deal established the Parfums Chanel company, a parfumerie of which Wertheimer owned 70 per cent, Bader owned 20 per cent, and Chanel owned 10 per cent; commercial success of the joint enterprise was assured by the Chanel name, and by the cachet of la “Maison Chanel”, which remained the sole business province of Coco Chanel. Nonetheless, despite the great business success of the Chanel couture and parfumerie(Sony VGN-NR11S/S Battery), the personal relations between the couturière and her capitalist partner deteriorated, because, the artiste Coco Chanel said that Pierre Wertheimer was unfairly exploiting her talents as a fashion designer and as a businesswoman. Wertheimer reminded Chanel that he had made her a very rich woman; and that his venture capital had funded Chanel’s productive expansion of the parfumerie which created the wealth they enjoyed, all from the success of No. 5 de Chanel(Sony VGN-NR11M/S Battery). Nevertheless unsatisfied, the businesswoman Gabrielle Chanel hired the attorney René de Chambrun to renegotiate the 10-per-cent partnership she entered, in 1924, with the Parfums Chanel company; the lawyer-to-lawyer negotiations failed, and the partnership-percentages remained as established in the original business deal among Wertheimer, Badel, and Chanel. (Sony VGN-NR260E/S Battery)
Elegance and the War — 1930s–1940s
The avant-garde couturière Elsa Schiaparelli was Coco Chanel’s only worthwhile rival in the design of clothes.
From the gamine fashions of the 1920s, the dressmaker Coco Chanel had progressed to womanly fashions in the 1930s, which was a decade of innovations in the confection of haute couture clothes at Maison Chanel S.A. (Sony VGN-NR260E/T Battery); evening-dress designs were characterised by an elongated feminine style, and summer dresses featured scintillating contrasts, such as silver eyelets, and shoulder straps decorated with rhinestones. In 1932, Mademoiselle Chanel presented an exhibition of jewelry dedicated to the diamond as fashion accessory; it featured the stylistically memorable Comet and Fountain necklaces of diamonds, which were of such original design, that Chanel S.A. re-presented them in 1993(Sony VGN-NR260E/W Battery). Moreover, by 1937, the House of Chanel had expanded the range of its clothes to more women, and presented prêt-à-porter clothes designed, cut, and confected especially for the petite woman. Among fashion designers, wherein rag-trade originality is in the dress-making technique — design, cut, and confection — only the haute couture created by the avant-garde Elsa Schiaparelli could compete with the clothes of Coco Chanel. (Sony VGN-NR11Z/S Battery)
General Walter Schellenberg
Chief of the Sicherheitsdienst.
During the Second World War (1939–45), Coco Chanel closed shop at Maison Chanel — leaving only jewellry and parfumerie for sale — and moved the Hôtel Ritz Paris, where she resided with her boyfriend, Hans Günther von Dincklage, a Nazi intelligence officer. Upon conquering France in June of 1940, the Nazis established a Parisian occupation-headquarters in the Hôtel Meurice, on the rue de la Rivoli, opposite the Louvre Museum(Sony VGN-NR11Z/T Battery), and just around the corner from the fashionable Maison Chanel S.A., at 31 rue Cambon. Meanwhile, because of the Nazi occupation’s official anti-Semitism, Pierre Wertheimer and family, had fled France to the U.S., in mid-1940. Later, in 1941, Coco Chanel attempted to legalistically assume full and formal business control of Parfums Chanel, but was thwarted by an administrative delegation that disallowed her sole disposition of the parfumerie(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21E battery). Having foreseen the Nazi occupation policy of the seizure-and-expropriation to Germany of Jewish business and assets in France, Pierre Wertheimer, the majority partner, had earlier, in May 1940, designated Felix Amiot, a Christian French industrialist, as the “Aryan” proxy whose legal control of the Parfums Chanel business proved politically acceptable to the Nazis, who then allowed the perfume company to
Occupied France abounded with rumours that Coco Chanel was a Nazi collaborator; her clandestine identity was secret agent 7124 of the Abwehr, code-named “Westminster”. As such, by order of General Walter Schellenberg, of the Sicherheitsdienst, Chanel was despatched to London on a mission to communicate to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill the particulars of a “separate peace” plan proposed by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21J battery), who sought to avoid surrendering to the Red Army of the Soviet Russians. At War’s end, upon the Allied liberation of France, Chanel was arrested for having collaborated with the Nazis. In September 1944, the Free French Purge Committee, the épuration, summoned Chanel for interrogation about her collaborationism, yet, without documentary evidence of or witnesses to her collaboration with the Nazis(Sony VAIO VGN-FW11 battery), and because of Churchill’s secret intervention in her behalf, the épuration released Coco Chanel from arrest as a traitor to France. Nation-wide, the liberated French people avenged themselves upon the men and the women who had collaborated with the Third Reich’s brutal, five-year occupation of France; a shaved head was the mildest punishment for les collaborateurs horizontales(Sony VAIO VGN-FW11M battery), women who had expediently perdured the Occupation and survived the War with sexual prostitution. Despite having been freed by the British political grace of the deus ex machina Churchill, the strength of the rumours of Chanel’s Nazi collaboration had made it infeasible for her to safely remain in France; promptly, Coco Chanel and her German lover, Hans Günther von Dincklage, went into an eight-year exile to Switzerland. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW11S battery)
In the post–War period, during Coco Chanel’s Swiss exile from France, Pierre Wertheimer returned to Paris, and regained formal administrative control of his family’s business holdings — including control of Parfums Chanel, the parfumerie established with his venture capital, and successful because of the Chanel name. In Switzerland, the news revived Coco Chanel’s resentment at having been an artiste commercially exploited by her business partner(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21E battery), for only ten per cent of the money; spiteful, she then established a rival Swiss parfumerie to create, produce, and sell her “Chanel perfumes”. In turn, Wertheimer, the majority capital stock owner of Parfums Chanel, saw his business interests threatened, and his commercial rights infringed, because he did not possess legally exclusive rights to the Chanel name. Nonetheless, Wertheimer avoided a trademark infringement lawsuit against Coco Chanel(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21J battery), lest it damage the commercial reputation and the artistic credibility of his Chanel-brand parfumerie. Sagaciously, Pierre Wertheimer settled his business- and commercial-rights quarrel with Mademoiselle Chanel, and, in May 1947, they renegotiated the 1924 contract that had established Parfums Chanel — she was paid $400,000 in cash (wartime profits from the sales of perfume No. 5 de Chanel) (Sony VAIO VGN-FW21L battery); assigned a 2.0 per cent running royalty from the sales of No. 5 parfumerie; assigned limited commercial rights to sell her “Chanel perfumes” in Switzerland; and granted a perpetual monthly stipend that paid all of her expenses. In exchange, the astute businesswoman, Gabrielle Chanel closed her Swiss parfumerie enterprise, and sold to Parfums Chanel the full rights to the name “Coco Chanel”. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M battery)
Resurgence — 1950s–1970s
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Chanel haute couture: Cashmere suit comprising a sleeveless dress and a long, cardigan-style coat. (ca. 1960) (Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M/H battery)
In 1953, from Switzerland, Coco Chanel returned to Paris, and found the fashion world enamoured of the “New Look”, by Christian Dior, which, although very feminine, was, in her opinion, a return to the corseted fashions she had opposed at the beginning of her career as a couturière. It was a stylistic and technical challenge to which she responded, by recognizing and acknowledging, that although the market for haute couture was much changed(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21M battery), she could catch-up and prevail. Becoming competitive again would necessarily come at a great price; Chanel needed to be a significant presence in: haute couture, pret-a-porter, costume jewelry and fragrance. Coco swallowed her pride and re-approached Pierre for business advice and financial backing. In return, he negotiated for himself complete rights to all products bearing the brand: "Chanel." (Sony VAIO VGN-FW21Z battery)But their re-kindled collaboration paid off handsomely as Chanel, with her unerring sense of style, once again became the single, most prestigious label in all of fashion. Importantly for the brand and starting in 1953, Coco collaborated with jeweler Robert Goossens to design a line of Chanel jewelry which exquisitely complimented her iconic fashion designs. For example(Sony VAIO VGN-FW32J battery), she paired her re-launched signature "Chanel Suit" (consisting of a knitted wool cardigan with a matching skirt) with long strings of black and white pearls, setting off the suit wonderfully while at the same time adding to it a degree of femininity, thus lightening a sometimes severe look."
She also introduced the Chanel gold or metallic chain-strapped and quilted leather handbags in February 1955. The launch date for this line, 2/55, thus became the internal "appellation" for the quilted bag line(Sony VAIO VGN-FW17W battery). It is still known throughout the world as the "2/55" bag and it, just like the "Chanel Suit" has never really ever fallen out of fashion. Throughout the fifties, her taste continued its unerring path to success, even as she turned to new areas of conquest. Her first venture into men's fragrance became yet another enduring success, Chanel's eau de toilette for men, Pour Monsieur (which has also been marketed under the name(Sony VAIO VGN-FW31E battery): "A Gentleman's Cologne") became, endured and remains even today the number one selling men's fragrance. Chanel and her spring collection received the Fashion Oscar at the 1957 Fashion Awards in Dallas. Pierre Wertheimer bought Bader's 20% share of the perfume business, giving his family 90 per cent. Pierre's son Jacques Wertheimer took his father's place in 1965. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E battery) Coco's attorney Chambrun called the now-gone-relationship as "one based on a businessman's passion, despite her misplaced feelings of exploitation." He told Forbes, "Pierre returned to Paris full of pride and excitement [after one of his horses won the 1956 English Derby]. He rushed to Coco, expecting congratulations and praise. But she refused to kiss him. She resented him, you see, all her life." (Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E/H battery)
Coco Chanel died on 10 January 1971, aged 87. She was still "designing, still working" at the time of her death. For example, in the (1966–1969) period, she designed the air hostess uniforms for Olympic Airways, the designer who followed her was Pierre Cardin. In that time, Olympic Airways was a luxury airline, owned by the transport magnate Aristotle Onassis(Sony VAIO VGN-FW31M battery). After her death, leadership of the company was handed down to Yvonne Dudel, Jean Cazaubon, and Philippe Guibourge. After a period of time, Jacques Wertheimer bought the controlling interest of the House of Chanel. Critics stated that during his leadership, he never paid much attention to the company, as he was more interested in horse breeding. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW31J battery) In 1974, the House of Chanel launched Cristalle eau de toilette, which was designed when Coco Chanel was alive. 1978 saw the launch of the first non-couture, prêt-à-porter line and worldwide distribution of accessories.
Alain Wertheimer, son of Jacques Wertheimer, assumed control of Chanel S.A. in 1974. In the U.S., No. 5 de Chanel was perceives as a passé fashion.seen as a passe perfume. Alain revamped Chanel No.5 sales by reducing the number of outlets carrying the fragrance from 18,000 to 12,000(Sony VAIO VGN-FW31Z battery). He removed the perfume from drugstore shelves, and invested millions of dollars in advertisement for Chanel cosmetics. This ensured a greater sense of scarcity and exclusivity for No.5, and sales rocketed back up as demand for the fragrance increased. He also used many famous people to endorse the perfume — from Marilyn Monroe to Audrey Tautou. Looking for a designer who could bring the label to new heights, he persuaded Karl Lagerfeld to end his contract with fashion house Chloé(Sony VGN-NR11Z Battery).
The post–Coco era
The couturier Karl Lagerfeld, chief designer at Chanel S.A., and the Bolivian couturière Monica Moss. (Monaco 2005)
Chanel couture by Lagerfeld: the Autumn–Winter 2011–2012 collection
The 1980s — Karl Lagerfeld
In 1981, Chanel launched a new eau de toilette for men, Antaeus. In 1983, Karl Lagerfeld took over as chief designer for Chanel. He changed Chanel's fashion lines from the old lines to shorter cuts and eye capturing designs. During the 1980s, more than 40 Chanel boutiques were opened up worldwide. (Sony VGN-NR11S Battery) By the end of the 1980s, these boutiques sold goods ranging from US$200-per-ounce perfume, US$225 ballerina slippers to US$11,000 dresses and US$2,000 leather handbags. Rights to Chanel cosmetics and fragrances were held by Chanel only and not shared with other beauty producers and distributors. As Lagerfeld took charge as chief designer, other designers and marketers for Chanel worked on keeping the classic Chanel look to maintain the Chanel legend. (Sony VGN-NR110E Battery) Chanel marketer Jean Hoehn explained, "We introduce a new fragrance every 10 years, not every three minutes like many competitors. We don't confuse the consumer. With Chanel, people know what to expect. And they keep coming back to us, at all ages, as they enter and leave the market." The launch of a new fragrance in honor of Coco Chanel, Coco(Sony VGN-NR110E/T Battery), in 1984 maintained success in the perfumery business with Chanel. In 1986, the House of Chanel struck a deal with watchmakers and in 1987, the first Chanel watch made its debut. By the end of the decade, Alain moved the offices to New York City.
The company became a global leader in fragrance making and marketing in the 1990s. Heavy marketing investment increased revenue. The success of the Maison de Chanel brought the Wertheimer family fortune to $5 billion USD. (Sony VGN-NR110E/S Battery) Product lines such as watches (retailing for as much as $7,000 USD), shoes, high-end clothes, cosmetics, and accessories were expanded. Sales were hurt by the recession of the early 1990s, but Chanel recovered by the mid-1990s with further boutique expansion. 1990 saw the launch of ĹŹ.
In 1996, Chanel bought gunmaker Holland & Holland. It attempted to revamp Holland & Holland, but did not succeed(Sony VGN-NR110E/W Battery). 1996 also greeted the launch of Allure fragrance and due to its immense popularity, a men's version, Allure Homme was launched in 1998. Better success came with the purchase of Eres (a swimwear label). The House of Chanel launched its first skin care line, PRÉCISION in 1999. That same year, Chanel launched a new travel collection, and under a license contract with Luxottica, introduced a line of sunglasses and eyeglass frames(Sony VGN-CR11SR Battery).
The 21st century
While Alain Wertheimer remained chairman of Chanel, CEO and President Françoise Montenay was to bring Chanel into the 21st century. 2000 saw the launch of the first unisex watch by Chanel, the J12. In 2001, Bell & Ross was purchased (a watchmaker). The same year, Chanel boutiques offering only selections of accessories were opened in the United States(Sony VGN-CR11Z Battery). Chanel also launched a small selection of menswear as a part of their runway shows which may be purchased at a few flagship boutiques including Rue Cambon vjk (Paris), Soho (New York), Roberston Blvd (Los Angeles) and the Prince's building (Hong Kong).
In 2002, Chanel launched the Chance perfume, a fragrance meant to convey glamour. The House of Chanel also founded the Paraffection company that gathered the five Ateliers d’Art: Desrues for ornamentation(Sony VGN-CR11S Battery), Lemarié for feathers and camellias, Lesage for embroidery, Massaro for shoemaking, and Michel for millinery. A prêt-à-porter collection leveraging their know-how was designed by Karl Lagerfeld. It is now traditionally presented each December. In July 2002, a jewelry and watch flagship store was opened on the upscale Madison Avenue. Within months, a 1,000sqft shoes and handbag boutique was opened next door to the jewelry and watches flagship(Sony VGN-CR11M Battery). Also in 2002, a rumor suggesting that Chanel was considering a merger with the luxury goods Parisian fashion company Hermès circulated. Although such a merger would have produced one of the largest fashion companies in the world, and rival the likes of Moët-Hennessy Louis Vuitton, it was never consummated. Chanel continued to expand in the United States and by December 2002(Sony VGN-CR11E Battery), it operated 25 U.S. boutiques. Chanel stated it would like to open more boutiques in more U.S. cities such as Atlanta and Seattle.
In order to please the younger followers, Chanel introduced Coco Mademoiselle and an "In-Between Wear" in 2003. That same year saw such an immense popularity of Chanel haute couture that the company founded a second shop on Rue Cambon. Desiring a presence in the Asian market, the House of Chanel opened a new 2,400 square feet(Sony VGN-CR21E Battery) (220 m2) boutique in Hong Kong and paid nearly $50 million USD for a building in Ginza, Tokyo.
The Chanel logotype comprises two interlocked, opposed letters-C, one faced forwards, one faced backwards. The logotype was given to Chanel by the Château de Crémat, Nice, and was not registered as a trademark until the first Chanel shops were established. Chanel is currently dealing with illegal use of the double-C logotype on cheaper goods(Sony VGN-CR21S Battery), especially counterfeit handbags. The company has stated that it is a top priority of theirs to stop the sale of counterfeit products. Countries said to be producing great numbers of counterfeit Chanel handbags are Vietnam and China. An authentic classic Chanel handbag retails from around US $4,150, while a counterfeit usually costs around $200 USD, creating a demand for the signature style at a cheaper price. Beginning in the 1990s(Sony VGN-CR21Z Battery), all authentic Chanel handbags are serialized.
One timeline measurement for Chanel presence in the United States is via trademark registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). On Tuesday, 18 November 1924, Chanel, Inc. filed two trademark applications. One was for the typeset mark Chanel. The second application was for the distinctive interlocking CC design plus word mark(Sony VGN-CR21SR Battery). In that time, the Chanel trademarks were registered only for the perfume, toiletry, and cosmetic products in the primary class of common metals and their alloys. Chanel provided the description of face powder, perfume, eau de cologne, toilet water, lip stick, and rouge, to the USPTO. The Chanel and double-C trademarks were awarded on the same date of 24 February 1925 with respective Serial Numbers of 71205468 and 71205469(Sony VGN-CR31SR Battery). Their status is registered and renewed and owned by Chanel, Inc. of New York. The earliest trademark application for the inaugural No. 5 perfume is on Thursday, 1 April 1926. Application was filed by Chanel, Inc. and described to the USPTO as perfume and toilet water. First use and commercial use is stated as 1 January 1921. Registration was granted on 20 July 1926 with Serial Number 71229497. No. 5's status is registered, renewed, and owned by Chanel, Inc(Sony VGN-CR31S Battery).
At the commercial presentation of the Chanel handbag of classic design (and greatest popularity), the press mistakenly identified it as the 2.55 handbag, instead of having identified it as the Timeless CC handbag. The differences in product design, materuals, and manufacture, between the 2.55 and the Timeless CC handbags, are different locks and leathers(Sony VGN-CR31E Battery); the 2.55 handbag is made of creased leather, whilst the Timeless CC handbag is made of smooth leather. Moreover, the carrying chain of the 2.55 handbag is made of links of matte-finish metal, whilst the chain of the Timeless CC handbag is made of gloss-finish metal links through which a leather strap is interlaced. The Timeless CC handbag is available in four sizes, the most popular is the second size of the range(Sony VGN-CR31Z Battery).
The Chanel Handbag:
The model 2.55, in quilted-leather, has adjustable double-chains, to wear it on the arm or at the shoulder.
The Chanel Handbag:
Sporting a quilted-leather handbag, the Belgian Queen Fabiola, and her husband, King Baudouin, visited the Nixon White House, in 1969.
The unisex design of the Chanel J12 wristwatches suits men and women.
The Chanel wristwatch division was established in 1987, to coincide with the début presentation of the Première wristwatch. (Sony VGN-CR41Z Battery) In 1995, wristwatch division presented a second design, the Matelassé. Although the Première and Matelassé wristwatches were successful products, the presentation, in 2000, of the Chanel J12 line of unisex style wristwatches, made of ceramic materials, established Chanel wristwatches as a recognised Chanel marque. To date the J12 line of wristwatches features models in four dial-face sizes(Sony VGN-CR41S Battery): (i) 33mm., (ii) 38mm., (iii) 41mm., and (iv) 42mm.; the available features include the “whirlwind” tourbillon mechanism that counters Earthly gravity; chronographs certified by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, and the usual bejewelled versions. In 2008, Chanel S.A. and Audemars Piguet developed the ceramic Chanel AP-3125 clockwork, exclusive to the House of Chanel. (Sony VGN-CR41E Battery)
Worldwide, Chanel S.A. operates some 310 Chanel boutiques; 94 shops in Asia, 70 shops in Europe, 10 shops in the Middle East, 128 shops in North America, 2 shops in South America, and 6 shops in Oceania. The shops are located in wealthy communities, usually in department stores, shopping districts, and inside airports. In Japan, the Chanel flagship store is in the Ginza district, on the corner of 3-5-3 Ginza Chuo-ku, Tokyo – 104-0061(Sony VGN-CR42Z Battery); the other three corners of the square are occupied by Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, and Cartier shops.