Under Henry II, the son of Francis I, some additional extensions were added to the Louvre. Henry died at a knightly tournament, his widow Catherine de Medici decided to build a new royal residence near the Louvre - the Tuileries Palace and connect it with the Louvre Gallery. However, the construction of the Great Gallery, which stretched along the Seine, was completed only at the beginning of the 17th century, under King Henry IV.
The Louvre was completed by the son of Henry IV Louis XIII, who was well familiar to everyone again from the novel by Alexander Dumas “Three Musketeers”. With him, an exceptionally beautiful Clock Pavilion appeared in the Louvre.
And here King Louis XIV, succeeding the throne of the previous monarch, was completely absorbed in the erection of the magnificent Versailles Palace near Paris and the arrangement of a magnificent ceremonial park. In the 70s of the XVII century. the French court left Paris and settled firmly in Versailles. The whole art collection belonging to the king was also transported there.
Exactly Louis XIV became the second, after Francis I, an outstanding collector king. His collection already totaled two thousand canvases. It included paintings by King Francis, as well as collected by Cardinal Richelieu and bequeathed to him by Louis XIII. And in the Richelieu collection there were such masterpieces as “Saint Anna” by Leonardo da Vinci and “Pilgrims at Emmaus” Veronese.
Louis XIV himself, on the advice of his first minister Colbert, bought the collections of Cardinal Mazarin and the banker Yabach. In addition, the king constantly acquired paintings by contemporary French artists - Poussin, Lorrain, Lebrun. By the middle of the XVIII century, already under Louis XV, the royal Cabinet, as it was then called the collection of paintings belonging to the kings, became even richer. And even the highest aristocrats increasingly said that the Cabinet should be open to all comers.
The empty Louvre with its large halls was the best suited for the exhibition of paintings. Nevertheless, the painting, collected by the French kings for almost three centuries, ordinary Parisians could see only after the French Revolution. The royal collections were nationalized and transported to the Louvre. On November 18, 1793, visitors first examined the first 587 exhibits, and this day was the birthday of the Louvre as a museum.