Ecole du Louvre

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Website of ParcoursSup


Date of the exam:

Arcueil, maison des examens
4 new examination centers : Martinique, Guadeloupe, New Caledonia and Reunion Island


Practicalities of the exam
(in french)


List of programme works
(in french)

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Undergraduate entrance exam

The probationary entrance exam to the École du Louvre has been given a makeover and is now called the École du Louvre undergraduate entrance exam (Concours d'entrée en premier cycle de l'École du Louvre).

This exam must be passed for admission to the first year of undergraduate studies. It is designed to assess whether candidates have the aptitude and skills required to embark on an undergraduate course at the École du Louvre (three years of study) with the best chances of success. The exam is taken exclusively in French (please note that non-French-speaking candidates are allowed to use a bilingual dictionary during the exam.)

The entrance examination takes into account two new factors:  

  • from 2020, the École du Louvre will be included on the Parcoursup platform,
  • the school is looking for candidates who are prepared for its specific pedagogical approach.


What is the École du Louvre’s specific pedagogical approach to undergraduate study?

There are two fundamental and innovative components to our approach: our teaching programme and our learning method.

While French universities now encourage multidisciplinarity during the first years of study by bridging the gap between one discipline and another, the École du Louvre has chosen to focus its teaching programme on art history and archaeology, rooted in the material evidence of civilisations.

Based on learning how to look at and relate directly to works of art, understood in their historical context but also in terms of their materiality, the school’s teaching method actively encourages recollection (visual and textual) and reflection (comparative and contextual).

The undergraduate course combines two modules in an original way; the first module provides a comprehensive knowledge base of general art history, and the second one covers a choice of specialisms from the thirty or so offered by the school. The core curriculum visits successively, over a period of three years and in condensed form, all periods and all continents through their artistic output and their civilisations. In addition, we look at creative techniques and the history of collections and iconography, while modern languages and potentially optional modules are also included. In the third year, some modules are taught in foreign languages.

To assimilate this knowledge base, candidates must have:

  • a passion for art, museums, heritage and reading, etc.,
  • a strong work ethic,
  • prior knowledge giving them a good sense of space and time,
  • a firm command of the written word,
  • sufficient independence and maturity.

The assessment is based mainly on the reasoned reproduction of written knowledge. For reasons related to the school’s teaching structure, which is mainly overseen by museum and heritage curators and professionals, the weighting of continuous and oral assessments is limited. Most exams are therefore final exams and consist of written tests in the form of essays or commentaries on works. Essay-writing and commentary techniques are learnt during teaching on artworks or in the classrooms at the school and in tutorial sessions, which are offered on a voluntary basis in the first year.

First stage of the exam: pre-selection via Parcoursup

The Parcoursup platform is the only way to register for the exam.
Application fee: 65 euros (scholarship holders exempt)

An initial group of candidates will be shortlisted based on their academic record and their training project with reasoning. The pre-selected candidates will be invited between 10 and 15 April to complete the second stage of the exam.

Second stage of the exam:
a written test comprising three exercises

  • A series of questions to assess candidates’ sense of space (reading maps and designs, etc.) and time (understanding of chronological markers and use of a timeline).

As the first-year undergraduate core curriculum covers ancient periods, civilisations and archaeological sites of Eastern, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Indian and Chinese antiquities, it is essential that students can base their future knowledge on sound spatio-temporal structures.
Test duration: approximately 20 minutes. The test will be marked out of 20.

  • An exercise in describing a work of art

This test is designed to assess candidates’ ability to observe and pay attention to a work of art (subject to colour reprographics) presented to them, as well as their ability to structure a description, by combining a sharp eye, accurate vocabulary and excellent writing skills.
Test duration: approximately 40 minutes. The test will be marked out of 20.

  • An art history composition

This written composition draws on candidates’ academic background and personal culture, but also reflects the preparation work for the exam undertaken in their current school year. The subject of the composition therefore allows candidates to use some of the works in the annual teaching programme (see below) and to connect them – potentially with other works – in a clear and structured manner. The composition also allows us to assess candidates’ use of language and written expression.
Test duration: approximately 2 hours. The test will be marked out of 40.

A restrictive list of works (between 25 and 40 maximum) is provided to candidates at the beginning of the school year on the École du Louvre website. The works on this list – heritage sites, historical monuments, artefacts and works held in public collections in France and abroad – are part of an annual teaching programme which candidates must have worked on beforehand. The works in the programme are easily accessible on the websites of the institutions responsible for conserving and developing them. Candidates are advised to use the documentary resources available online on these institutional sites as their main source of information. A very brief bibliography, consisting of one or two works of general art history, may be also be available.
See programme works

Advice on preparing for the École du Louvre entrance exam

Preparing for the exam requires strong motivation and personal commitment.
Candidates do not need to do a course or group preparation.

  • The first exercise is based on general understanding of a chronological and topographical framework (human history and physical geography). The knowledge acquired during secondary-level education provides this. It is a good idea to do an overview of it, from the great periods of prehistory to the present day (key dates), the physical and historical geography of France to the great global balances.
  • The second exercise is a description of a work of art. There is no ready-made method for translating what we see into words. However, three criteria are fundamental: the ability to critically observe, use accurate vocabulary, and produce an appropriately structured text of high quality. This exercise does not require any special knowledge of art history.
  • The third exercise is an art history composition, dealing with a fairly general subject over an extended chronological period and covering a wide geographical area. It is based on the candidate’s work drawing on the works in the École du Louvre’s teaching programme.
    It should assess candidates’ fluency in the use of written language, in terms of mastery of form (spelling, grammar, syntax and elegance of style) and well-argued and illustrated reasoning. It is essential that this composition starts with an introduction, presenting the subject and the issues surrounding it, and setting out the chosen strategy. The main arguments of the composition will then be organised into a few interlinked sections, with the key ideas backed up by referenced examples (title [always underlined], date, place of conservation/location). The composition will end with a conclusion summarising the main lines of argument.
    What characterises an art history composition is that it is a demonstration of understanding based on concrete examples referring to precisely named and identified works. Care should be taken not to list endless examples, but to mention a few judiciously in the course of the essay, justifying choices. Candidates will be able to select these examples from the restrictive list of works in the programme, but also to enhance their visual culture.


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La rentrée à l'École du Louvre

Cycle découverte : L'architecture vénitienne

Cycle découverte : Des Arts et de la mer

Cycle découverte : Des Arts et de la mer

En raison du contexte sanitaire,
des consignes et recommandations
seront appliquées dès la rentrée
sur les sites de l'Ecole du Louvre
(Flore et Rohan):

►Présentation obligatoire par tous
du Passe sanitaire
(élèves exceptés).
►Port du masque obligatoire dans
l'intégralité des espaces intérieurs.
►Respect de la distanciation
►Respect des sens de circulation.
►Lavage des mains régulier.
►Mise à disposition de gel hydro-
alcoolique (grand halll).
►Nettoyage régulier des zones 
de contacts (poignées, rampes...).
►Surveillance et régulation de la
qualité de l'air.


►Présentation obligatoire des cartes
(élèves, auditeurs, enseignants).
►Interdiction d'introduire des bagages
dans l'établissement, quelle qu'en
soit la taille.
Cette mesure s'applique à l'ensemble
des usagers : élèves, auditeurs, agents
et intervenants pédagogiques.

Merci de votre collaboration et
de faire de preuve de compréhension
quant au ralentissement induit
par les contrôles aux entrées.




Prix Marc de Montalembert

La Fondation Marc de Montalembert et l’École du Louvre se sont associées pour l’attribution du Prix Marc de Montalembert d’un montant de 9000 euros. Ce prix soutient l’achèvement d’un travail de recherche qui promet un apport original à la connaissance des arts et de la culture du monde méditerranéen, depuis les périodes anciennes jusqu’à l’époque contemporaine. La Fondation Marc de Montalembert offre en outre au lauréat la possibilité de séjourner à son siège à Rhodes, en Grèce.

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L’École du Louvre est partenaire de « Arts de l'Islam, un passé pour un présent », un projet du Ministère de la Culture, du Musée du Louvre et du Grand Palais - RMN, qui prévoit 18 expositions dans 18 villes. L'Ecole du Louvre coordonne près de 70 conférences qui seront donnés gratuitement dans les 18 villes, entre le 22 novembre 2021 et le 27 mars 2022.

Le site Internet

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Les importants travaux de réaménagement de la bibliothèque et des espaces documentaires de l'École du Louvre ont commencé. Cet ambitieux projet architectural de près de 1300 m² reconfigure l’établissement avec une bibliothèque réinventée, la création d’un Centre de recherche, ainsi que le réaménagement de la cafétéria et des services documentaire et informatique.

RDV en novembre pour découvrir les nouveaux espaces !

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« Grand siècle » en France, « Siècle d'or » aux pays-Bas et en Espagne, le XVIIe siècle est en Europe un moment d'extraordinaire floraison artistique.
Dans un contexte de controverse religieuse, alors que la guerre est quasi incessante dans un continent qui se reconfigure, l'époque est marquée par un épanouissement des arts sans pareil et des réalisations majeures en architecture, peinture, sculpture et arts décoratifs.

Héritier de la Renaissance, passionné par l'Antiquité et ses vestiges, le XVIIe siècle européen fait alors de la tradition classique sa langue commune. Il façonne de nouveaux vocabulaires stylistiques, explore de nouveaux sujets, il développe le goût pour les œuvres et les collections et dynamise la commande, le marché de l'art et ses nouveaux amateurs.
Ainsi, des grandes métropoles aux petites villes, des cours royales aux intérieurs modestes, des grandes créations aux simples almanachs, l'art est omniprésent et fascine une Europe aux temps troublés, faisant avant tout du « Grand Siècle », le siècle des arts, le siècle des images.

Commander l'ouvrage

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Les Cahiers de l'Ecole du Louvre

Les seizièmes Cahiers de l’École du Louvre sont en ligne et présentent cinq articles et une étude accompagnée d'un catalogue inédit.

Les Cahiers de l'Ecole du Louvre publient des articles sur les thèmes principaux d'enseignement et de recherche de l'École, dont l'histoire de l'art, l'archéologie, la muséologie, l'histoire des civilisations et l'anthropologie, sur toutes périodes et aires géographiques.

Consultez le numéro

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LinkedIn Ecole du Louvre pour l'emploi

L'École du Louvre publie quodiennement sur sa page LinkedIn des offres d'emploi, bourses de recherche, résidences, appels à candidature... A consulter régulièrement et à partager avec la communauté des anciens élèves de l'Ecole et des jeunes professionnels des musées, du patrimoine et de l'histoire de l'art. Aujourd'hui plus de 51 000 abonnés suivent ces offres pros.

lire la suite...