Friday, September 09, 2011

The Louvre Museum - Part One

Bright and early we got up on Wednesday so we could tackle one of the most famous Museums in the world. Armed with our audio tour (and the headphones!) we set off. Having done our research, we knew the quickest way to enter the museum without having to stand in line (you can access an entrance in the Metro station), but once we were in came the task of figuring out where we were and where we wanted to be, as the exhibits had been moved around since our audio guide was made! Since the guide couldn't be skipped forward or backward we decided to listen as we looked and hope to catch up. We looked at lots of old statues, eventually finding our way to one of our "must see" sights - the Venus de Milo. Apparently it's on everyone's list so there was a sea of people around her. We very much enjoyed the added insights from the recording - we now know exactly what contrapposto is (counterpose) and why it is important! We learned that she is made from two pieces of marble and how she is a study in contrasts. It was so fun to look at this beautiful work while listening to why it is important and so interesting!

Further along we were introduced to another one of the important ladies of the Louvre - the Winged Victory of Samothrace. I really loved this one, and it wasn't as crowded here. We were able to walk around at our leaisure and study the beauty of this one! I wonder what kind of a face this lady had? Fierce and proud, I think! The third grand lady of the Louvre is the Mona Lisa. Now that was a crowd! Mona Lisa has an entire large wall in the midst of a huge room. The crowd starts at the back, then you work your way forward to the front for your look, then to the sides and out. We just stood to the side, I figured I could see it better in a book and we didn't want to spend an hour on one painting when there were so many more to see!

Founded over 200 years ago. Our country is so young in comparison!

The crown jewels of France! Beautiful, but not easy to get in a photograph.

We saw many wonderful paintings including The Wedding at Cana. There was a wonderful discussion of this on the audio guide, telling the story of who is who in the painting and discussing the various perspectives of the people in this. There were several paintings that were discussed in detail and it really added to our enjoyment of the art. The Raft of the Medusa was another one we really enjoyed. I'm not sure what this one is, but I liked it enough to get a picture!

With over 35,00 works of art you can never see it all in one day, so once we finished our audio tour, we looked around for a bit, then decided to leave until later in the evening (we chose Wednesday for our visit because we knew we would be able to return in the evening). We sat for a bit in the Tuilleries Garden and just enjoyed the nice day - the sun was out and it was a perfect day!
Look at all the neat statues on the outside of the building!
And the big Ferris Wheel. Didn't ever get time to do that, though.But of course there is time for lunch - Jambon et Fromage (ham and cheese) with a cafe creme. Sitting on a park bench behind Notre Dame enjoying a summer day in Paris - most awesome!

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