This paper analyzes the formation of the concept of a “museum” in eighteenth-century France. During the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XV, the Royal Academy of Paintings and Sculpture formed a professional art institution, which consisted of artists, connoisseurs and conservators. This institution worked out a plan for a Grand Gallery under the supervision of d’Angiville, who was the general director of buildings, arts and manufacturing under Louis XV. This plan, however, was suspended by the French Revolution, and an art museum was then established after a large struggle between the Gironde and the Montagne. This paper analyzes how arts professionals, borrowing their framework from the field of natural history, invented the “museum” and re-evaluated fine art created during the period of “unenlightenment”.