The magic of the Louvre is all about the art.
There is nowhere in the world where so many undeniable masterpieces live side by side, waiting for you to walk in and share a moment with them.
Unfortunately, this also means huge crowds.
Like any great museum, the Louvre draws in an enormous amount of visitors. Millions flock to this gorgeous building every year, and it’s delightful that so many people want to come and see all that it has to offer.
But if you are looking for a different kind of Louvre experience, one without the crowds, where you can spend more time with each piece, where there are fewer people just trying to snag a picture of the Mona Lisa, you need to visit the Louvre at night.
That’s why we’ve created the Louvre by Night tour. It includes all the great information and views of the original Louvre tour, but it takes place in the evening.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to see things up close. No rush. No fighting your way through a sea of people. Only you, your guide, and the art.
If this sounds like just the tour for you, reach out to me.
We can begin figuring out your Louvre by Night tour and craft the ultimate Paris art experience for you!
The evening tour of the Louvre is an hour and a half tour led by a certified guide with deep knowledge of the art and the history behind it.
You will see masterpieces like the Venus de Milo and Winged Victory. And because you’ll have an expert on hand, you can discover the stories and secret mysteries surrounding the works and how they got to the Louvre.
You will also see the jewel collection of the French monarchy, the Grande Gallery, the works of Leonardo da Vinci (including, of course, the Mona Lisa — only now without the crush of a crowd), ancient statuary, rare artifacts from the dawn of civilization, and more.
Because the museum is much less busy in the evening, you’ll get far more time with each piece, able to revel in the splendor of the work rather than fight your way to the next exhibit.
Paris, the City of Lights, was made to be enjoyed at night. This is as true for its incredible art museums as its historic streets filled with cafes.
When you visit the Louvre in the evening, there is a certain je ne sais quoi about the experience that you do not get during the day.
For one, the crowds are not only smaller, they are made up almost exclusively of art lovers. People seem to be much calmer, more respectful. Everyone is tuned into the art around them, focused on the details, whispering to their friends in wonder.
With that more relaxed pace and tone, you can often have much more informative talks with your guide. There is no din to shout over, no throng of people to move aside for. This allows a much more profound connection to the art and the things you can learn about it.
In the past centuries, before inventing the light bulb, sculptures and paintings were shown to the viewers in their natural light : Sunlight or candles were the only sources of light.
But, as we can't keep the marble sculptures, fragile paintings outside under the rain and open to vandalism, the Louvre museum decided to preserve the most precious pieces inside.
The Grand Gallerie by day is almost an open air passage.
The Louvre adapted the elements of the architecture of the Museum to shed more natural light on the paintings and the sculptures inside of it : The Louvre has many open windows and transparent roofs that lets the sun light in the gallery rooms as if we were walking outside.
The evening atmosphere of the Louvre by Night brings in a reverence for the art, a feeling of intimacy with the pieces. It can seem, at times, as if this fortress — built almost 1000 years ago — was made just for you.
You walk through its wide aisles, up its grand staircase, and it is as if you’ve landed the ultimate inheritance.
The sculptures almost speak and move in the later hours, allowed to fully express themselves without so many eyes on them.
And once your tour is finished, and the images of the night begin to settle and find a place in your memory, you exit out into Paris — lit up in that special way that only this city can do.
You can go forward, finding the next adventure in your great French escape, filled with the beauty of the world’s greatest art museum.
It is the perfect way to end a day in the city. Afterwards, you can grab a coffee or a glass of wine and explore the night, or seek out your bed, ready to dream of all the things you’ve seen.
Are you ready to see the Louvre in an entirely new way?
Our experienced guides will give you an unforgettable experience, one filled with the transcendent artwork of the Louvre in a way so few are able to ever see it.
Please schedule your Louvre by Night tour early by email :
It is not surprising, after getting exposed to an - almost - infinite collection of colorful paintings, not only on the walls of the Louvre but also on its ceilings, to enjoy nice dreams of art and paintings.
It seems appropriate to pull these dreams from an artwork that perfectly encapsulates the feeling of a night tour: perhaps the best example would be Cupid and Psyche (1817) by François-Édouard Picot.
The painting is enormous, 2.33 meters (7.6 feet) high by 2.91 meters (9.5 feet) wide.
At that scale, the sumptuous details and overall emotion of the painting completely overcomes us. Standing there, especially in the evening when we have the chance to really let our senses feast, it is as if we become part of the moment between these two characters from Classical mythology.
The story comes from a tale about Cupid, the god of desire, and Psyche, the goddess of the soul.
Psyche was born a mortal, but her beauty was beyond what any mortal had ever achieved. Her features even matched those of Venus herself.
See Aphrodite in our Women tour in the Louvre.
This enraged the goddess of love, who sent her son Cupid (Eros) to use his arrow — which had the power to make anyone fall in love with anyone else — to bind Psyche to the most wretched person in all the world.
Always the dutiful son, Cupid rushed to Psyche’s bed where she slept. But as he was piercing her with his arrow, he was suddenly overcome by her beauty. She awoke, startling him, and he pierced himself with the same arrow. From then on, they fell madly in love.
But because she was a mortal and an enemy of Venus, Cupid had to come up with some trickery. He built a palace for Psyche, and had a marriage arranged between them — but his wife could never know she was married to a god. So he would only visit at night and leave in the morning.
Psyche loved these visits, but yearned to know what her new husband looked like. One night, she leaned over his body with a lamp to see his face. As she did this, a drop of oil from the lamp landed on Cupid’s shoulder. He awoke and disappeared into the night.
Eventually, Psyche underwent many trials to win the respect of her mother-in-law and become a goddess herself. In time, Cupid and Psyche were able to be a married couple.
This delightful tale is most well known for scenes of Cupid and Psyche in their bed as the wife and mysterious husband. And a particularly beloved moment in these visitations, as the painter Picot depicts in this painting, is Cupid leaving in the morning before being discovered.
Picot (1786 - 1868) was a French painter whose luminous work expands our understanding of the mythic. He created many masterpieces in his career, like Léda (1832) and two ceiling murals in the Louvre.
His work in some way mirrors his contemporaries, like Jacques-Louis David. Both Picot and David have an impeccable sense of composition, capturing a moment in the story that combines action and the fundamental relationship between the characters.
David was much more a neoclassicist focused on ennobling his subjects through big, muscula events (consider his 1784 work Oath of the Horatii, also at the Louvre).
See the painting : Napoleon's coronation by David
For Picot, his greatest achievements came at much quieter points. His poignant images of introspection and tenderness still benefit from the strong sense of composition, but they are able to relax into a noble silence.
It is for this reason that he was the perfect painter to depict this scene of Cupid departing Psyche as dawn breaks over the land.
When we visit the Louvre at night, we go to sleep with the most awe inspiring artwork dancing in our heads — including Cupid and Psyche. Upon waking, we might think it was all a dream, a fantasy that couldn’t be real.
The art in this museum seems too incredible, too powerful. Surely, it couldn’t be more than a reverie.
Cupid and Psyche is a meditation on many things, and here we have discovered yet one more. Night is a time when we transition into a world of imagination, our senses opened to see beyond an image and into the world inside it. This might be the most important reason why the Louvre is so special to visit at night — because we are ready to embrace it on a much more profound level.
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