The Louvre, originally the palace of King Philip II of France, reinvented itself as an art museum in 1793. Since then, it has grown in scope and renown and is today the most visited art museum in the world. "Louvre: 400 Masterpieces", an accessible book-object in a brand new format, is a unique survey of not only the collections - filled with such iconic works as the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa - but to the history and artistry of the institution itself. With a foreword by the institution's director, Henry Loyrette, the book is organized according to the museum's eight departments: Near Eastern Antiquities, Egyptian Antiquities, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Islamic Art, Sculptures, Decorative Arts, Paintings, Prints and Drawings. Each chapter is prefaced with a brief text describing the history of the department and its acquisitions over the centuries. The ninth and final chapter tells the history of this royal - once imperial - palace as seen through its architecture.With its appealing square shape, 450 reproductions, never-before-see archival plans and documents and lively essays, "Louvre: 400 Masterpieces" is the perfect book for museum visitors, art lovers and Francophiles.