The Da Vinci Code: 10 key works at the Louvre

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The Da Vinci Code is a novel that enjoyed international success in the early 2000s. Presented as a work of fiction, the story told by Dan Brown goes beyond the imagination. The secrets revealed during the investigation by the main characters Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu make readers feel that they could be actual events. Part of the Church even talks of defamation.

The worldwide success of a book selling more than 80 million copies went on to attract Hollywood, and the novel was adapted for the big screen in 2006 by director Ron Howard, whose previous films included Apollo 13 (1995) and The Grinch (2000).

See the Louvre as if you were in the movie

Are you a fan of the Robert Langdon tetralogy? Did you love the movie? Your visit to the Louvre is an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the investigators and discover the secrets of the Priory of Sion. A Louvre tour is the best way to see the works that appear in the Da Vinci Code from a different point of view.

The museum has selected 10 works and locations you should visit to see for yourselves and decide whether the theories in Dan Brown’s book are plausible.

The Arago medallion

On the staircase that is home to the Winged Victory of Samothrace, the Arago medallion led to Robert Langdon following an imaginary line. This is the Paris meridian known as the “Rose Line” in the book. The Arago medallion is a contemporary work by Jean Dibbets, installed in the Louvre Museum in 1995. There are 135 of them in Paris.

Where to find it: Denon wing, room 3, accessible from the Daru staircase. It is the third room to the right of the Winged Victory of Samothrace.

The Virgin on the Rocks

This work by Leonardo da Vinci is thought to hold a hidden secret. The mystery lies in the position of the Virgin's hand. What she is actually holding is the reason why Sophie Neveu’s grandmother was murdered.

Where to find it: Denon wing, 2nd floor, room 5

The Virgin and Child with St Anne

According to the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, the painting by Leonardo da Vinci hides the form of a vulture. This theory is used in the Da Vinci Code to support the theories in the novel.

Where to find it: Denon wing, 2nd floor, room 5

Noli Me Tangere ("Don't touch me")

According to the discoveries made in the novel, the events related in the Bible that led to Mary Magdalene being seen as a reformed prostitute are supposed to be the work of a conspiracy. Leonardo da Vinci’s Noli Me Tangere is thought to illustrate this secret episode in history.

Where to find it: Denon wing, 2nd floor, room 8

Death of the Virgin

Although this painting is the setting for one of the bestseller’s interpretations, there is indeed a secret hidden in it. The draped curtain, which is the same color as the Virgin’s robe, has been interpreted as Caravaggio’s intention to depict the mother of Jesus' ascension to her son.

Where to find it: Denon wing, 2nd floor, room 8

The Mona Lisa

Of course, the most famous painting in the world could not escape this crime thriller set in the Louvre Museum. The mysteries surrounding this painting are explained in a completely logical way during the investigation: Mona Lisa's smile, the position of her hands, the landscape... what are these elements hiding?

Where to find it: Denon wing, 2nd floor, room 6

The Wedding at Cana

The longer you look at this painting by Veronese, the more characters you discover. The people are positioned in a way that may seem strange to the audience. In his novel, Dan Brown puts forward an interpretation that serves the adventures of his heroes.

Where to find it: Denon wing, 2nd floor, room 6

Hera of Samos

According to Dan Brown, all myths have a sacred feminine. The absence of a goddess figure in the Bible and the Christian tradition is, for the characters in the Da Vinci Code, the key to a dark secret.

Where to find it: Denon wing, mezzanine, room 1

The Inverted Pyramid

According to Robert Langdon’s discoveries, the Inverted Pyramid is the site of a tomb. This deduction is pure fantasy.

Where to find it: Carrousel du Louvre

The Salon Carré

Visible in the film, the Salon Carré (Square Salon) is one of the most emblematic rooms in the Louvre Museum. The killer was held there.

Where to find it: Denon wing, 2nd floor, room 3

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