Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Our First Stop in Paris: The Louvre. Bring Your Walking Shoes.

After we had dropped off our luggage at the hotel and rested for an hour or so, we headed to...

Le Musee du Louvre, s’il vous plait.

Paige at the Louvre

Le Louvre
A view which shows the right side of the building

The museum is comprised of three multi-level wings used to display over 35,000 works of art. The building has been around for hundreds of years and has been home to the museum since 1793. Since the new wing opened in 1993, it’s the largest museum in the world. The exhibition area is about 15 acres in a building space of 1.6 million square feet. It's huge! The museum sits on the Right Bank of the Seine in the First arrondissement (district) of Paris.

In the mid-1980’s, a glass pyramid was added in the main courtyard and that became the main entrance. We waited in line for about 40 minutes to pay and go through security there.

After admittance, inside the Louvre, under the pyramid

Studying her notes and deciding on a route for the day. Paige lugged around hundreds of note cards, notebooks from her art history classes and notes like these she had prepared just for the trip. She's a serious student. Can you imagine bringing school work along on a trip to Europe?

The two most famous works housed in the museum seem to be the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. There are numerous signs posted directing patrons to those two works of art. When we noticed the first sign for the Mona Lisa, we assumed we were close, but it was actually a long walk: turn right, up the stairs, turn left, down the stairs, etc., etc. 

Venus di Milo

There was a huge crowd behind a rope here. The painting is behind protective plastic or glass which makes it more difficult to view. Paige is not a fan of the Mona Lisa, but I was thrilled for the opportunity to see it.

Surprisingly, photos were allowed in Le Louvre. Most of the ten museums of Art we visited on this trip did not allow any photography.

Probably my favorite of the day. Le Brun's Madame Viglee-Le Brun et sa fille, 1789.   I wish I had a close-up of it.

I think this is Jacques-Louis David's The Coronation of Emperor Napoleon I and the Crowning of Empress Josephine in Notre-Dame Cathedral on December 2, 1804

Thinking of Sally as I took this

Another horse-lover from a different century, but she doesn't look like she had to clean stalls

The Louvre painting collection has over 6,000 works created between the 13th Century and 1848. The works of Raphael, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, David and other geniuses are managed by 12 curators.

Jacques-Louis David (dah VEED)

My favorite art student studying brush strokes

Another by Le Brun. I didn't realize that three of my favorites were all by the same artist until I got home.

When the d’Orsay train station was converted to a museum in 1986, the Louvre’s painting collection was split and all of my favorites, the ones completed after the Revolution of 1848, were moved to the new museum, Le Musee d'Orsay.

Next post: What would you do if you just arrived at the hotel and you were warm and thirsty?  Drink from the faucet and risk the small chance of getting sick, pay 12 Euros each for a bottle of water, or choice number three to be discussed next time? 


Joanie said...

Great pictures! Thanks for sharing with us. I am enjoying your trip vicariously.

Lori said...

I'm glad you're along for the ride, Joanie.

Robin J. Steinweg said...

Sacre---in the painting below the Jacque-Louis David, one can scarcely tell where the fleshly crowd merges with the painted! Thank you for sharing culture with one whose main culture recently has been 3-day-old cabbage juice!
I was particularly happy to see visual proof of your presence at the Louvre, in your walking shoes.

Lori said...

Robin, I need to ask Paige about that painting with the crowd so I can credit the painter. I'd guess Leonardo (Paige says scholars call him Leonardo, not Da Vinci), but I really don't know.

I'll have to post that photo of me in my white tennis shoes now so others will know what you're talking about:-).

The Prude said...

Did you find yourself on overload at all? I get that way at the Chicago Art Institute.
But isn't it amazing how satisfying it is to see paintings 'in the flesh'?
Great post- I'm glad you can take photos at The Louvre!

Lori said...

Prude--Not overload, really. We keep a pretty good, purposeful pace and try to linger only now and then with favorites. If Paige was a dawdler I would've lost patience and grown bored.

I do get tired sometimes--I like the museums with benches scattered here and there.

Paige said...

Way to portray me as a nerd Mom! When did you take that photo? And, I have no idea who painted that crowd painting, but it's not Leonardo. Looks more Raphael (who I believe was a student of Leonardo). I don't think it's actually Raphael though. I'll try to figure it out.

Lori said...

Paige, I'm proud of your nerd-ishness! Let me know when you figure out the artist. I hunted a bit and couldn't find it.