Violent Storms Invade the Louvre, Damaging Art by Poussin and Other Holdings

Works by Nicolas Poussin and Jean-François de Troy are among the casualties.

The Louvre Museum after suffering floods in 2008. Photo Mike Hewitt/Getty Images.

Louvre Museum officials have revealed the details of the artworks damaged by the violent storms that shook Paris on July 8-9.

Two works by Nicolas Poussin were among those damaged on Sunday July 9, as the French capital saw two inches of rainfall in just an hour, with the tempest flooding several metro stations and infiltrating the Louvre.

In a press release published last Thursday, the French museum confirmed that water had invaded the mezzanine of the Denon wing, affecting the “Arts of Islam” and “From the Mediterranean Orient to Roman Times” rooms, both of which have been closed pending hygrometric stabilization.

Water also entered the first floor of the Sully wing, affecting the “Salle des Sept-Cheminées” and Henri IV staircase, and the second floor of the Cour Carrée, affecting some rooms housing French paintings. Non-display spaces, including locker rooms in the basement as well as the mezzanine café, were also affected by the violent storm.

Nicolas Poussin, Spring (1660-64). Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Nicolas Poussin, Fall (1660-64). Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Despite the immediate implementation of emergency measures by museum staff, water damage was observed on the varnish of two (Spring and Fall) of the “Four Seasons” paintings by Nicolas Poussin, and a large format work by Jean-François de Troy, The Triumph of Mordecai (1736). The Poussin works were immediately removed as a precaution and the Jean-Francois de Troy unhooked from the wall. Three paintings by Georges de Latour and Eustache Le Suer on the second floor of the Sully wing have also been evacuated as a preventative measure.

The museum opened as usual last Monday, save the annexed Islamic Art room and those adjacent to it. Work is underway to ensure the affected spaces reopen as soon as possible and restorers are evaluating the extent of the damage.

Speaking to artnet News this morning, Louvre officials had no updates on the status of the damaged artworks.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.