The East Facade of the Palais du Louvre (Louvre Palace) facing the city centre of Paris at the time it was built and hence being the main entrance to the Palace then. It has become known as Perrault’s Colonnade and has been regarded the foremost masterpiece of French Architectural Classicism. It was designed by the team Louis Le Vau, Charles Le Brun and Claude Perrault (1613-1688), the latter later regarded the main architect of the facade as he had been studying and translating the ancient roman architect Vitruvius. The East Wing with its then unusual design was constructed between 1667 and 1674. It was a strong departure from french baroque towards a new style of french classicism with italian influence. Ever since the “Louvre-Colonnade” has been mentioned as a model and example for great classicistic monumental edifices built in europe or the USA – famous examples are the east and west fronts of the USA Capitol, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Raczyński Library in Poznań (Poland) or the Zeughaus in Berlin.
The Louve itself has lost its status as the main royal palace after 1674 as Louis XIV. made Versailles the royal palace. Today the Louvre is regarded the most visited and the 3rd largest museum in the world. The East Wing has also lost its status as main entrance and view of the Louvre. Today it is the inner court with the glass pyramid by Ieoh Ming Pei that shapes the common image of the Louvre.
Paris | view of the East Facade of the Louvre from the Place du Louvre and the Rue de l’Amiral de Coligny