Ecole du Louvre

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Website of ParcoursSup


Date of the exam:
Saturday, 18 avril

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.


Actualités +

L'École du Louvre publie chaque jour sur ses réseaux sociaux des conférences et podcasts de ses professeurs et anciens professeurs et des articles scientifiques de ses jeunes chercheurs, issus de la revue Les Cahiers de l'École du Louvre. Parallèlement, le site Internet de l'École du Louvre est abondé quotidiennement d'expositions virtuelles et de visites de monuments historiques, classés par époque ou par thème.
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Informations Covid-19

L'Ecole du Louvre vue... 
par la Fondation Culture & Diversité


Annaïg Chatain, conservatrice du patrimoine, diplômée de l’IEP de Rennes, diplômée d’études approfondies en Histoire de l’art de Paris Sorbonne, précédemment adjointe du directeur des études du département des conservateurs de l’Institut national du patrimoine (2015-2020), conservatrice régionale de l’Inventaire (2012-2014) est nommé directrice des études de l’École du Louvre à compter du 1er avril 2020.
Elle succède à Natacha Pernac, maître de conférences en histoire de l’art moderne à l’Université de Paris Nanterre.


André Chastel,
un sentiment de bonheur

Un film d’Edgardo Cozarinsky (54 minutes)

Pour se tenir informé de l'actualité de l'Ecole du Louvre, abonnez-vous à la lettre d'information 

Lettres précédentes :
Mars 2020
Février 2020
Janvier 2020

Plan Vigipirate/Attentat :
La présentation des cartes (élèves, auditeurs, enseignants) est obligatoire. Selon les dispositions renforcées du plan Vigipirate, il est  interdit 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.
L’Ecole remercie par avance ses publics de faire preuve de compréhension quant au ralentissement induit par les contrôles de sécurité aux entrées.

             Logo du ministère de la culture  

Charles Sterling,
un chasseur dans la nuit médiévale

Un film de Richard Copans (46 minutes)

Junior classes à l'Ecole du Louvre

La Troisième session de junior classes d’histoire de l’art de l'Ecole du Louvre pour cette année scolaire 2019-2020 est reporté en octobre 2020. Ce programme expérimental d’éducation artistique et culturelle, propose des cycles de huit séances d’une heure, le jeudi de 18h30 à 19h30, hors des vacances scolaires, accessibles aux lycéens, jeunes étudiants, curieux et néophytes :

.Les couleurs (octobre-novembre 2020)
par Michel Pastoureau et Claude Coupry.

Pendant longtemps les historiens, les historiens de l'art et les archéologues ne se sont guère intéressés aux couleurs. Celles-ci étaient abandonnées à la petite histoire et aux recueils d'anecdotes. Depuis une quarantaine d'années cette situation a beaucoup changé. Grâce à des réflexions et des problématiques nouvelles, grâce aussi aux apports de la science et des technologies les plus récentes, la couleur est non seulement devenue un sujet d'histoire à part entière mais aussi un objet d'études qui se situe au carrefour de plusieurs disciplines. Il nous fait pénétrer au coeur de la vie quotidienne, de la création artistique et des mentalités et sensibilités de nos ancêtres.

Informations et programme

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Les Cahiers de l'Ecole du Louvre

A lire ou à relire : : les Cahiers de l’École du Louvre, qui 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.

EDL/RECHERCHE/1article/jour : chaque jour, un article d’un(e) jeune chercheur(euse) ou chercheur(euse) confirmé(e) de l’équipe de recherche de l’École du Louvre.

A consulter sur Twitter ou sur Facebook

Consultez la revue

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Durant le confinement

L'École du Louvre publie chaque jour sur ses réseaux sociaux des conférences et podcasts de ses professeurs et anciens professeurs et des articles scientifiques de ses jeunes chercheurs, issus de la revue Les Cahiers de l'École du Louvre. Parallèlement, le site Internet de l'École du Louvre est abondé quotidiennement d'expositions virtuelles et de visites de monuments historiques, classés par époque ou par thème.

Consulter Twitter et Facebook

Consulter la rubrique Expositions virtuelles

lire la suite...

L'École du Louvre continue de publier quodiennement sur sa page LinkedIn des offres d'emploi, de stages, bourses de recherche, résidences, appels à candidature... Des opportunités à ne pas manquer.

lire la suite...