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The Louvre: All the Paintings

Black Dog & Leventhal

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This is the way to start off your year.  I have only been to the Louvre once – on a rainy April afternoon a few years back.  I got lost and found myself among the Dutch folks – thus beginning my love for Pieter Breugel the Elder.  There have been weighty and gorgeous books about the Louvre and its paintings before, but none that capture the entire collection.  Of course every image cannot be reproduced with all the bits and pieces we would like, but all 3,022 paintings are here – many in thumbnail form, but the major pieces each have a nice little spread.  The classics are all here: Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Gainsborough, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Eugène Delacroix, Albrecht Dürer, Peter Paul Rubens and so very many more.

The 750-page book is broken down into four schools – Italian, Northern, French and Spanish.  These galleries help contextualize the masterworks in a way that’s far easier than navigating your way through camera-happy tourists who are really just there for the Mona Lisa and the gift shop.  This astounding publication also includes a DVD-rom with all the paintings, searchable by title, artist, date, material, location and more.  It’s an amazing resource for art history buffs and students, while the book is amazing no matter who you are.