Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Welcome to the Louvre!!

So here we are...walking around the main entrance to the Louvre. My pictures do not even attempt to do it justice and we could have spend an entire weekend walking through the museum, but in interest of seeing as much of Paris as we could in two days we did a self guided tour of the highlights. Leslie got the self guided tour from the Louvre website and it was really nice...definitely recommended. It took us about 2 hours to get through it. Hopefully I can explain a little of what we saw. Enjoy!

The entrance and courtyard of the Louvre.

Here we are inside the pyramid. You can see the escalators in the background. That is the main entrance and you must go underground in the pyramid to enter the museum wings of the Louvre. From here you have 3 wings you can enter and start exploring the masterpieces. We started our tour in the Sully wing in search of Venus de Milo...

Aphrodite, known as Venus de Milo. Dated around 100 BC. Timeless and emotionless. They say the sculpture is a play on proportions (it is 3 times as long as the nose and the forehead gives way to a profile the Greeks did not have). The sculptor was seeking to depict divine beauty, that of Plato's ordeals, not worldly reality.

The Louvre itself is a beautiful building. I had to remind myself to look up and all around...not just the art on the wall or beautiful sculptures in front of us. It's amazing how much beauty and history can be in one building...

Beautiful detail on the ceiling. It's hard to get a picture that even shows a portion of the beauty. Hard to get good light on pictures of the ceilings.

Taking advantage of some other tourists wanting their picture taken...so we got our taken as well! We're now on our way to see Mona Lisa...

Of course we have to take time to see other beautiful pieces of art on the way. Some aren't as famous, but beautiful none the less. This is Le Sommeil de l'Enfant Jesus by Bernardina Luini. From what I could gather from the sign, this was part of a collection of Louis XIV.

After waiting through a huge crowd (some people nicer than others), we finally were able to get close enough to get a picture of the Mona Lisa. The portrait of Lisa Gheradini, also known as La Gioconda, painted by Leonardo DaVinci around 1503 -1506. The colors darken as the varnish ages. They say the sleeves were once saffron yellow.

This is as close as we got. As you can see, even thought his painting was large for it's time, it's small in comparison to much of the other pieces of art on display. And it was the only painting mounted behind glass that we saw.

Here's the crowd we had to wait through to see the Mona Lisa.

Opposite the wall of the Mona Lisa is a gigantic painting...The Wedding of Cana by Paolo Cliari, known as Veronese. 1562-1563. The artist chose to depict Christ's first miracle, performed during the marriage of Cana. I took up close pictures of the different symbolic scenes within this large painting and will post seperately. It's hard to tell from my picture, but the colors in this painting were so vivid and the pure size of the painting amazed me.

The Coronation of Emperor Napoleon I and the Crowning of Empress Josephine in Notre-Dame Cathedral on December 2, 1804. Commissioned by Napoleon, it took Jacques-Louis David 3 years to complete the painting. As it was a work of political propaganda...not all is true about the painting. The emperor's mother seated on a throne in the middle was not there that day (as she was mad at her son), shows and thinner Napoleon and a younger Josephine.

Winged Victory of Samothrace circa 190 BC. Most likely destroyed by an earthquake, this work was found in countless pieces on the island of Samothrace in 1863. The right wing is a plaster copy of he left wing. She initially stood on the prow of a ship. Scholars believe this work was a votive offering from the Rhodians to the gods to thank them for naval victory.

One of my favorite pieces. I'm not exactly sure why...it's just so simple and graceful. La Nymphe au Scorpion (Nymph with Scorpion) by Lorenzo Bartolini.

As I was showing Aiden picture of the museum he kept saying "ah mommy it's so beautiful". As for me, I think he liked the sculptures more than the paintings. As we got to this sculpture he said "Oh mommy...it's the tooth fairy!" then preceded to tell me the whole story of the tooth fairy. I think that is what I will always refer to this figure as. The Tooth Fairy :) Unfortunately I did not get a picture of the title for this one. Does anyone know the real name?? I would love to know...

These two sculptures are done by Michelangelo Buonarroti. They say pieces of Michelangelo are seldom seen outside Italy, but the Louvre owns these two, known as The Slaves. They belong to a group, the other pieces are at the Galleria dell' Accademia in Florence. The Slave 1513 - 1515

We saw so many more things than what made it to the blog...but my blog would go on and on. Our two hours spent there just scratched the surface. I would love to revisit when my time isn't so limited. Here we are leaving the museum...inside the famous pyramid entrance with the museum in the background.

Being silly as always...the picture is a little off...but close! I'll be back with details regarding the painting 'The Wedding of Cana' and of course the Eiffel Tower...along with other stuff. There's so much to blog! Have a wonderful week!

1 comment:

  1. The unknown sculpture is probably cupidon and psyché, from canova perhaps.