Sunday, October 27, 2013

43. The Musée du Louvre - paintings

Today’s adventure takes me back to the Musée du Louvre. I leave home early with the plan to get there at the head of the queue … as it is, I get to the Glass Pyramid just 15 minutes before opening time and the line is not too bad. However within those 15 brief minutes the busses have arrived and emptied their loads from the four corners of the globe, and the queue suddenly starts to snake its way back and forth through the bollards across the forecourt.
 
 
The line shuffles along quickly as we empty our pockets, open our bags and move through a security check and then down escalators into the main foyer where I join another queue to buy my entry ticket and head off at a lively pace - map in hand - on a pre-planned route ...
 
 
... up the stairs – along a corridor – more stairs – around a few corners – check the map and yes, I’m on track - more corridors – another lot of stairs – around a few more corners ...
 
 
and BINGO
 
 … there she is ...
 
La Gioconda

 

My plan worked and I am able to go straight to the rail and click a pic to prove I have been to the Louvre and seen the Mona Lisa !! … but I have to say, the poor old dear is a bit of a disappointment to this weary first-time-viewer – she is tiny – shielded by very thick armour-glass – security guards standing on either side - and three metres away from my straining eyes … what’s all the fuss about I ask as I fight my way back out into the passageway to get up-close-and-personal with some of her friends 
 


 
I am afraid that I have committed the cardinal sin again and not recorded  any painting details - my apologies to the artists, the gallery and to the viewers of this blog for this omission. The astute however will, I'm sure, recognise several of the works and styles of well-known painters. 




Many of the galleries had skylights letting in very bright crisp autumn natural light - making photography rather difficult and somewhat touch-and-go ... another apology.  





Le Jeune Martyre - Paul Delaroche - 1855
One of my favourite pieces !!!
























 
So there are just a few of the thousands of paintings that passed in front of this viewer's eyes on an Autumn morning in Paris ...

It is an amazing collection of beautiful paintings that would take forever to view in detail – I am embarrassed to say that I spent only about 4 hours whizzing from room to room – dodging the multitudes that followed me as I went.   

The ambiance of the magnificent architecture - both inside and out - and the grandeur of the art on exhibition is spoilt somewhat by the hordes of noisy and discourteous tourists that inhabit the galleries en masse ( including me ... ). And as a traveller, I also have to compare the Louvre to its American counterpart – the New York Met – and I’m afraid the Met wins hands down several times over.
I felt the display techniques at the Louvre were not very viewer friendly – I got the impression that they have so much artwork that the curators just want to get as much out there on view without too much consideration for the viewer - some galleries had multiple hangings sometimes three or more high and this is a pet hate of mine - and not something the curators at the Met would do.
Also the whole collection comes across as a little bit “stodgy” – nothing grabbed me and shook my bones and yelled out “look at me – look at me” – they just hung there or sat there gathering dust yawning at all us gawking foreigners ( so very French really !!! … ) … But who am I to judge …
 
At least I can now have engraved on my tombstone in time to come ...
 
" ... He went to Paris and saw the Mona Lisa ..."


Tomorrow I'll take you underground again to show you some of the beautiful marble at the Louvre ...