Vue de la Grande Façade du Vieux Louvre

Artist: Jacques Rigaud (French, Marseilles 1681–1754 Paris)

Date: originally published 1729, inscribed 1752

Medium: Etching

Dimensions: sheet: 9 3/16 x 18 3/16 in. (23.4 x 46.2 cm)

Classification: Prints

Credit Line: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1953

Accession Number: 53.600.1191


In a striking horizontal print, one of a series of twenty-one views of Paris, Jacques Rigaud has depicted the long east facade of the Louvre, still a royal palace in the eighteenth century. Designed in the late 1660s by a team including Louis Le Vau, Charles Le Brun, and Claude Perrault, the facade demonstrates the majesty and authority of French Baroque architecture, which is notable for its classical grandeur, restrained ornament, and balanced proportions. As depicted by Rigaud, it is a monument inviting both admiration and admission: near the center foreground, a gentleman gestures as though explaining the building to his companion, and in the center of the facade, the illuminated entrance frames figures strolling in the courtyard beyond.