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The Louvre – Paris Museum
The Louvre is what most museums aspire to be: the best of the best. I’ll share my joys and discoveries.
The Louvre is not only France’s great museum, but it is a museum for and of the world. It belongs to all of humanity in that it embodies the heart and soul of entire civilizations.
This culmination of art in one museum can be best expressed as some of the greatest masterpieces from the cradle of civilization to the nineteenth century.
More than any other museum, the Louvre deserves all the superlatives.
Just the sheer magnitude of the building itself is daunting. Then there is the collection of art; it is truly indescribable as to how much of the world’s finest art could be in one location.
Photo of the Louvre by the author Camille Gizzarelli
This was my first trip to Paris and to see the Louvre, one of my life dreams.
The entrance to the museum is by way of the Louvre’s addition, the Pyramid by architect I.M. Pei. It isn't necessary to buy an entrance ticket in advance as you would need to have sufficient time to receive it by mail.
There are two lines (or queues): one for those with a ticket, and the other without. The line for those needing to buy a ticket wasn’t long and it did move along quickly. The cost was €10.00.
You take the escalator down to Napoleon Hall, pick up a floor plan in the language of choice and begin!
I tend to make a check list when I visit a museum.
My first choices were to see: the "Mona Lisa" and the "Nike" (otherwise known as the "Winged Victory of Samothrace").
There are photos posted of the "Mona Lisa" and the "Venus de Milo" with arrows to direct you to their prospective rooms. (These must be the two most popular destinations.)
The "Mona Lisa" is not a large painting compared to others of notoriety in the Louvre, but its presence is immense. And, in case you wondered, the background is indeed ‘green’.
"Nike" has her own majestic location at the top of the staircase. Carved in marble and over 2,000 years old, this sculpture is quite a sight to behold.
Photo of "Nike" by the author Camille Gizzarelli
My other choice "must see" works of art besides the aforementioned are:
Vermeer’s "The Astronomer" and "The Lacemaker"
David’s "Oath of Horatii"
Ingres’ "La Grande Odalisque"
Delacroix’s "Liberty Guiding the People"
Gericault’s "The Raft of the Medusa"
Leonardo’s "The Virgin of the Rocks" and "Saint John the Baptist"
As I made this trip to Paris from London by train in one day, I didn’t have the opportunity to see all that I would have liked.
My abbreviated list of art that I regretfully missed is:
Bosch’s "The Ship of Fools"
Durer’s "Self Portrait"
Caravaggio’s "The Death of the Virgin"
Mirror Stand (Greece, 5th century)
Which work of art dazzled me the most?
You may be surpised by my choice. It was Gericault's "The Raft of the Medusa" with its immense size and the dark, gloomy colors that spoke volumes of its emotionally charged subject matter.
You can own a giclee print of "The Raft of the Medusa," available here from Allposters.com.
The Raft of the Medusa, 1819
Buy This Allposters.com
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