The Middle Ages
In Europe, from the 5th to the 15th century, artists and craftsmen perfected a wide variety of techniques in fields such as enameling, ivory work, and tapestry. The Louvre's collection of medieval decorative arts provides compelling evidence of the importance of this period of artistic innovation. The early Middle Ages were a time of great upheaval, following the major political, military, economic, and social crises that accompanied the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity (established as the official religion of Rome in the year 380).
Living in the Louvre
The former palace of the French kings
When we wander through the Louvre — now one of the largest museums in the world — it’s hard to imagine that it was first a fortress, then a royal residence for several hundred years. Some of its royal residents stayed for a short time only, preferring the calm of the Loire valley or the splendors of Versailles. Although the palace furniture and decorative objects have long since gone, the walls and ceilings still bear traces of this distant past.
The rooms devoted to Roman Egypt are temporarily closed to the public. The works presented in this thematic trail cannot be accessed. During the first three centuries AD, the Roman world encountered the beliefs and funerary practices of Egypt. The result was a fascinating combination of Pharaonic imagery and Hellenistic portraiture, reflected in the diversity of the Louvre collection. After the Roman conquest of Egypt in 30 BC, Roman settlers quickly adopted local funerary customs and beliefs.