Image Map

12 September 2014

How do I Louvre You?

Paris - Day 2:

After another delicious breakfast- the gang and myself headed out to the Musée de l'Armée. This is where a fun historical friend has his rather large tomb. Napoleon. Fun fact about Napoleon- he was actually of an average normal height... who knew?

His tomb is smack dab in the middle of the Dôme des Invalides. This is a rather large church with a delicious golden dome on top. Easily spotted across the city and from above. 

golden dome- be there or be square

Napoleon's Tomb

looking up into the dome

beautiful gardens outside- and sunshine!

The tomb was interesting, it might have been nice to walk around the rest of the place which holds different weapons, artillery, and stories of the French Army during the world wars and more. 

We ate a quite delicious lunch at a well-packed french restaurant. This was their fun menu.

When lunch was finished I headed over to one of the most well known and largest museums in the world- The Louvre. The Louvre is where every artist wants to be and seriously it is a beautiful place.

obligatory Louvre selfie!
The Louvre was once upon a time a palace- before Versailles, it was where the French Royal family lived. I'm pretty sure it's impossible to see all of in just one day, but I sure tried my best. Like the Orsay, the Louvre has extended hours, on Fridays. I took advantage of this and ran around to the best of my ability.

I started with tour with the Rick Steve's audioguide. I found out the that Louvre is split into 3 wings- the Richelieu Wing, the Sully Wing and the Denon Wing. Rich Steves tour took me through a majority of the Denon wing, which is where all the most popular and famous Louvre pieces are kept. 

First up were the ancient Greek and Roman statues and sculptures. I looked at Parthenon Friezes, old Roman Emperors, and two fabulous pieces of art- the Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory.

Venus de Milo

Winged Victory

After the Greeks and Romans, I moved through some rooms of the palace taking in layout and design. I walked through the Apollo Gallery filled with royal tables, dinnerware and the french crown jewels (or at least they are supposed to be there- unfortunately I was not able to see them!). 

The Apollo Gallery ceiling

Continuing on to the Italian Renaissance- the big kahuna. Most of the Renaissance paintings are held in The Grand Gallery- and oh how it is grand. Several Leonardo di Vinci's are held there along with hundreds of other Madonna and Children, martyrs and saints. Then the most famous painting of all- the Mona Lisa. 

Now many people react to how small the Mona Lisa is- something I had heard for years and years, read in textbooks, online and more. My expectation was that she was going to be super tiny. But honestly my reaction was, Oh, she is bigger than I thought. 

It was an incredible feeling to be in the presence of literally the most famous pieces of art in the world- her expression is definitely reflective of your own mood. And perhaps that is why she is so well loved- a piece of art that can be appreciated by any and everyone.
Continuing on from Mona, I went and stood for a while in front of another famous picture- Liberty Leading the People. This painting always reminds me of Les Mis. 

 As I finished up my Rick Steves tour- I ended with another famous artists statues. Michelangelo's Slaves.

Impressive to think he carved each out of their own piece of marble. 

Once I completed most of the Denon Wing with Rick Steves- I set out on my own to hit up a few other things that also interested me. I headed down to the lowest level to see the moat of the very original Louvre building, over to the Egyptian Wing to stare at some mummies and then to the top floor of the Richelieu Wing to walk through Napoleons apartments. Along the way I stopped and saw Marie Antoinette's writing desk

and two gorgeous Vermeer's
Vermeer's Lacemaker (now this one was tiny!)

Vermeer's The Astronomer

And that concluded my tour. Trust me- there were thousands of things I missed. The Louvre is a place I would love to go back and explore. I know I have a few more days left of things to see there. 

Next Up: Notre Dame and Sainte Chapelle- two spectacular cathedrals. And in case you missed my previous posts- Spain Part 1&Part 2, Paris Day 1.

Happy Friday! 

 post signature

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely amazing! I'd always heard the Mona Lisa was smaller than you'd think, nice to know it's not super tiny!