October 24, 2011

Paris: Day 5 The Louvre

What is a trip to Paris without seeing one of the worlds most famous museums? The Louvre was absolutely incredible and definitely requires an all day visit. We traversed through the corridors of the museum admiring works of art that were still in pristine condition even for being over 500 years old! Before we decided to get into the long line we took some time to enjoy the sun on the outside while orchid soaked her feet in the fountain water.

One of the joys of being in Paris is people watching. You could sit out all day in a cafe, park or touristy area and watch the world go by. I always enjoy a chance to sit and relax while I patiently observe the way the world is moving around me.

The Louvre is another place that you dont really understand its size until you are there. Its much more than a glass pyramid. The architecture alone is amazing to look at especially if you come from a city where buildings were not designed in the same fashion.

Just outside The Louvre was an incredible statue of Joan of Arc. The French heroine and women's rights activist of the 1400's. No matter where you are in Paris there is almost always a statue or building right around the corner that will catch your attention.

Now its time to travel inside the museum for you to get a taste of my favorite works of art. I wont be able to show all my pictures because, well lets face it you may not have the time to look through them and I don't have the space. If you are wondering if I have a picture of any piece of art just let me know and I will dig through my archive.

Here is orchid enjoying a mini bottle of wine we picked up on the outside food court.

I was really fascinated with this staircase right before you enter the museum. The column going up the middle is an elevator.

There are multiple starting points for anyone going into the museum. We decided to start with the ancient sculptures from the 1500's. I did get in a little trouble touching the statues. Being a huge fan of art I really could not resist. Here is a piece of art that has survived over 500 years while still maintaining its beauty. I can even make my car stay in this good of shape for more than a few days.

Sometimes there will be a few pieces I would notice that were unlabeled. 

Like almost everyone in the museum I was most excited to see the Mona Lisa. I am a very very big Leonardo Da Vinci fan so this was especially important to me. Regardless, do not get into such a hurry to see the Mona Lisa that you forget to stop and take in the beauty of all the other art pieces around you. Here is the large corridor that leads to the Mona Lisa. 

This guy must have been a real ladies man in his time judging by his refined pose in the image.

Some of my all time favorite pieces I saw in the museum was the done by the artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo. He painted the works called Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring. Since Winter and Fall were too high up on the wall Here is a picture of Spring and Summer.

Summer is my favorite because it combines my love of food with my love of art. Could you ask for a more perfect painting?

Another fine piece of art.

This piece was interesting because of that large orb in the top right corner. What is that? If you know the meaning or the name of this painting please let me know.

Before we pushed our way to the front of the huge crowd surrounding the Mona Lisa I had to look at this monstrous painting overlooking the crowd. This was the largest painting I have ever seen and must have taken the artist a few years to finish it in its entirety. 

To give you an idea of its size I placed Orchid in the foreground next to it.

We were amused by the older gentleman on the painting that was talking to the chihuahua. The dog on the picture looks like Orchids dog Otis. For those of you who know Otis, you know he would be right there on the table next to all the food.

Finally, we made it through the crowd only to be 40 feet away from the painting that is hidden behind 5 feet of glass and guarded by two armed security guards. Either way I had a moment here with Mona Lisa that was magical. Her eyes captivated me but I had to resist because I am already taken.

Orchid really enjoyed the painting from a distance as well.

With promises to return in the future, we left Mona Lisa and walked towards the other artworks. 

One thing to remember while exploring the museum: LOOK UP. The ceiling is adorned with ornate paintings and sculptures that you will want to lay on the ground and look up at them all day. Had it not been for the awkward looks or security guards I would have been sprawled out on the ground enjoying the view above.

As we got closer to the end of the museum there was this large stained glass wall that really hits you full force as you walk up to it.

The museum houses much more than just paintings and sculptures. Some of my favorite works of art were the crown jewels, pottery, marble carved roman baths and the beautifully decorated beer mugs.

Another very crowded, yet beautiful and well worth the wait, famous work of art. 

A lone gentleman who was really intrigued by the writing on the wall. He walked right into my shot and I am glad he did.

As we looked out the top window of the museum we noticed that it had been raining pretty bad. The rain really makes Paris shine and makes for great pictures.

We only waited for a few minutes and the rain cleared up again. I noticed a girl at the base of a window painting a landscape. I quietly snuck up and tried to capture her vision of the crowd below just when I noticed the Eiffel Tower in the background and the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in the foreground. Perfect shot for a perfect day!

Thanks for coming to the site and sharing in my experience. Let me know about your travel experiences in the comments below.

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