Engstrom’s guide to the masterpieces at the Louvre is designed for museum visitors with limited time or accessibility issues.
Filled with 329 color photos of the “masterpieces” in the Louvre, this guide focuses more on directions to and identification of noted works of art rather than on the art itself. Wheelchair-bound Engstrom also includes alternate routes to ensure accessibility for visitors with limited mobility. Visitors who simply want to say that they have seen the Mona Lisa, the crown of Louis XV or the Venus de Milo will appreciate this guidebook. However, there’s a catch: “The Museum renovates, moves, etc., its collections in the wings at will, so, there is a good chance, you will not find these Tours to be totally correct.” Readers should be aware that this book was written in 2010, so at least two years have transpired before this printing; in fact, a photocopied insert alerts readers that room numbers have been changed in the Greek collection that houses the Venus de Milo. The size of the book (8.5” x 11”), tight spacing between lines of text and extremely small print in floor plans make this book awkward to carry and difficult to read while navigating the museum. The color photography by Fred Engstrom is as good as any snapshot taken in a non-studio environment, and the printing on glossy stock is excellent. These photographs are only intended to allow readers the ability to identify the works. In addition to shots of the masterpieces, another 384 photographs (many of which are miniscule) of other works and floor plans pepper this guide. No matter how thorough Engstrom’s handbook, Engstrom recommends advanced planning of visits so as to be sure of hours, pricing and information about which works might be on temporary exhibit elsewhere.
For readers with limited time to visit the Louvre, this is a useful guide; for those with limited mobility, it’s almost essential.