In the XVII century. famous art collections of cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin - they are probably familiar to many, not only from history books, but also from the “musketeer” novels of Alexander Dumas. The richest collections of all these eminent collectors consisted of paintings, sculptures, porcelain, bronze, watches, carpets, expensive ceremonial armor, which were often true works of art.
Tried to keep up with them and other kings, dukes, high hierarchs of the church, and just rich people. And the take-off of sciences, which began during the Renaissance, gave rise to new types of collecting: a fascination with minerals, plant samples, and insects appeared. In the era of the great geographical discoveries (mid-15th – 17th centuries), all sorts of rarities began to arrive in Europe from across the ocean: Indian bows, arrows and tomahawks, utensils, pipes, clothes.
All of these items replenished the vast collections stored in the palaces of noble connoisseurs of works of art and various wonders. In the XVI-XVII centuries. such meetings were often called the German word Kunstkamera - literally "cabinet of rarities."
But the time came, and many palaces with all the works of art gathered in their halls and other collections opened the doors for everyone who wanted to see them. The French, for example, owe this to the French Revolution (1789–1794). The former royal palace - the Paris Louvre became the first art museum in the world, open to the general public. And by the confluence of time he was destined to become the largest of the museums.