Louvre, in full Louvre Museum or French Musée du Louvre, official name Great Louvre or French Grand Louvre, national museum and art gallery of France, housed in part of a large palace in Paris that was built on the right-bank site of the 12th-century fortress of Philip Augustus. It is the world’s most-visited art museum, with a collection that spans work from ancient civilizations to the mid-19th century. The Louvre ceased to be a royal residence when Louis XIV moved his court to Versailles in 1682. The idea of using the Louvre as a public museum originated in the 18th century. The comte d’Angiviller helped build and plan the Grande Galerie and continued to acquire major works of art. In 1793 the revolutionary government opened to the public the Musée Central des Arts in the Grande Galerie.