Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 45: The Louvre

Two big things crossed off on our list today: the Louvre, and the Impressionist gallery!

First thing was first -- the impressionists. For this we went to the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. Examples of Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Degas, Lautrec, Le Brun, and more were all found inside! Admittedly I was most excited to see Van Gogh's 'The Auvers Church' because it was featured in a Doctor Who episode. Oh! And Monet's paintings literally glowed... it was quite awe inspiring. I didn't like his work much before, but I have to admit it had something special about it.

Next, the Louvre. I never really thought about how big it was... it just wasn't something that crossed my mind. Nor did I fully comprehend that it was below the ground! Of course once I saw the big glass structure towering in the center of the Louvre itself, my mind also relapsed and I remembered that this was the setting of The DaVinci Code! So I had a lot of learning experiences today, I think. I'm also going to be honest, I liked the National Gallery in Britain more than I did the Louvre! But that might be in part because the National Gallery had a focus on painting, whereas the Louvre spread out to encompass much more than that (artefacts and sculpture). Thusly the Louvre seemed more helter skelter to me, and also it was much larger. We walked a few miles in that place and in total it took us 7 hours!

As an art student obviously the Louvre had a different sort of significance for me than for others... for one, I would blanche at the paintings or sculpture that I had looked at too much while studying for tests and also would admire those that I never really fathomed quite till then. I enjoyed seeing some Fraggonard and Rubens, again...and there was a massive collection of Le Brun there (mostly Charles). Was pleased to see a Vermeer! Rembrandt had some paintings there though they weren't his most stellar examples. Even saw the Mona Lisa! As the museum's most famous painting it was walled off... but you could still tell that her eyes followed you wherever you were. I was equally pleased to see some great instances of sculpture, including the famous Venus de Milo and Venus de Vienne. Also, while I was in the palace of Versailles I got a photo with every Louis painting I could find, so of course, it was no exception at the Louvre. One thing I enjoy about the Louvre is that it allows photography! That gave it some nice bonus points, in my book.

For the firts time, I also saw ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics and sculpture! Overall it was a really great day,  and all that walking was well worth it.

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