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Gallery of Apollo
This gallery is perhaps one of the most impressive in the museum. King Louis XIV, the mythical Sun King who took the image of the God Apollo, commissioned the decoration of this room before leaving the Louvre for Versailles and taking his court with him, including his favourite painter, Charles Lebrun. Therefore, the gallery remained incomplete and was not finished until the 19th century. If you look closely at the ceiling in the center of the gallery, you can see a painting of Apollo killing Python, a work painted by Eugène Delacroix himself. The abundance of the gold and the highly decorated detail is a reminder of the Palace of Versailles. In fact, this gallery is considered to be its prototype.
The link between Apollo and Louis is important. Apollo is the Greek sun god and also the god of the arts and poetry. Louis XIV was also known as the Sun King and was a great patron of the arts. Chance? Never.
The gallery is a monumental and collective work of art, showing a wide range of artists from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. It can also be considered a hall of fame, portraying numerous portraits of tapestries of the kings, artists and architects who built the Louvre during its 800-year history.
The gallery also has a central theme: time. Upon entering the gallery, the first painting on the ceiling represents Diana of the hunt, but also the moon!
She wears her half-moon crown indicating that it is midnight. Diana is also Apollo's twin sister and therefore it seems appropriate to see her first. Apollo represents midday, as the sun is shown burning behind him. As you advance into the gallery, you will see the sunrise or Aurora. The months of the year with their corresponding signs of the zodiac are also visible.
The royal jewels are now housed in the gallery. The ruling diamond, the most famous in France, has passed through the hands of many people over the centuries, from kings and queens to emperors and empresses. You can see it at the end of the gallery.