September 24, 2013

Travel Tuesday: The Louvre, Paris

Travel Tuesday: The Louvre, Paris


There are few things I enjoy doing more while traveling than spending a day exploring the galleries of an amazing museum.  When in Paris, I always make it a point to visit the Louvre.  The museum, housed in a former royal palace, is one of the world's largest museums and the most visited one, boasting over 15,000 visitors each day.  The Louvre's phenomenal collection, with 652,00 square feet dedicated to their permanent collection alone, includes over 380,000 objects and over 35,000 works of art.  That is a ton of art to see in one day, so here are a few of my must-see suggestions.


Travel Tuesday: The Louvre, Paris


Upon entering the main gallery space of the Louvre, you will be greeted by the Winged Victory of Samothrace.  This famous statue is by an unknown Greek artist and dates to about 200 BC.  The statue honors the goddess Nike, who is a true beauty despite having lost her head.  The statue is thoughtfully positioned in a large empty space.  One moment she looks as if she is the figurehead on the prow of a mighty ship.  The next she looks like an angel, ready to take flight with her intricately carved wings.

Travel Tuesday: The Louvre, Paris

No trip to the Louvre is complete without fighting the crowds to see Leonardo DaVinci's Mona Lisa.  You will be surprised to see just how small this painting is (it measures 2'6" x 1'9") and that it is behind glass.  At any given moment, dozens of people jostle to get close enough to look the lady in the eye.  Stand back far enough, and you will find that her eyes really will follow you around the room.

Travel Tuesday: The Louvre, Paris

Now that you have seen to of the most well-known pieces in the Louvre's collections, check out my favorites.   Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss, a statue by Antonio Canova, is the only piece of marble that has truly moved me.  Completed in 1787, the statue depicts Cupid, the Roman god of love, embracing Psyche who has been put under a spell after returning from the Underworld.  Standing in front of the statue, you almost feel as if you are intruding upon some intimate moment between the lovers.  Psyche awkwardly reaches for Cupid, who is looking into her eyes with both love and passion.  This is the most beautiful statue, and it is interesting to note the storyline is based upon the Latin novel entitled The Golden Ass.  Cupid's marble behind hasn't seen the light of the sun in quite awhile, but it is worth seeing, I assure you!


Travel Tuesday: The Louvre, Paris

The Young Martyr by Paul Delaroche is an oil on canvas from 1855.  The painting has an ethereal quality to it.  You can see the moonlight reflected on the water and the billowing of the girl's skirt as it moves with the waves.  It is both eerie and beautiful.


My favorite section of the museum is the Napoleon III Apartment.  This gallery is made up of the Grand Salon and Dining Rooms, which are fine examples of Second Empire decorative arts.  The style is 18th century rococo, with elaborate chandeliers and gilding everywhere you look.  There is also some amazing china and serving pieces to view. 



If you are a fan of Dan Brown's DaVinci Code, you will have fun looking for scenes from the story around the Louvre.  There is the Mona Lisa, the inverted pyramid in the reception lobby, and you will even find one of the plaques of the Rose Line that Robert Langdon uses to crack the code.  The Louvre website has a handy guide to help you follow the DaVinci Code trial in the museum.

Travel Tuesday: The Louvre, Paris

Last but not least, don't forget to spend some time enjoying the beautiful building itself.  It was a palace after all!  I.M. Pei's pyramids are an amazing sight in the daytime, but at night they light up the Louvre courtyard in the most beautiful contrast of old architecture and new.  From the extensive art collection to each brick of this incredible building, the Louvre is truly worth a visit!

Travel Tuesday: The Louvre, Paris



7 comments:

  1. Fabulous photographs - I would love to visit Paris one day xx

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    1. Thanks, Karen! The Louvre is a great place for taking photos; there are just so many beautiful things to try to capture on film. The building itself is just amazing, not to mention all the art!!

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  2. Amazing pictures and very beautifully captured I must say. Paris is not only famous as world's leading business center, but it is also known for beautiful cultural centers and places. It is one of the world's major globe cities. It is a worldwide famous for its education, entertainment, media, politics, fashion, science and the arts and also there are several attractions in Paris to visit. I think one must have a trip to Paris once in life.

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  3. Well said, Bianka! There is definitely something in Paris for everyone. It is truly an amazing city!!

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  4. Christian Principles - Live Long by Living Near to the God of Love In Psalm 91, the Holy Spirit propelled writer composes of a mystery place wherein men might abide underneath the shadow of God. To remain in this shadow, one must be, near the strong wellspring of the shadow. http://www.mordocrosswords.com/2016/03/winged-god-of-love_19.html

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