Monday, June 9, 2014

Palace Turned Art Mecca - The Louvre

Art and it's history is always fascinating and till now I've only seen it on a screen. I didn't realise what I was missing. Seeing these treasure first hand is something that cannot be replicated by any screen or poster print. After all these years, the paintings seem to have a life of their own and the more you look at them, the more they surprise you. The sculptures have to be seen to be believed. Cold, hard marble seems like a fluffy pillow or a delicate fabric, and statues look almost life-life if it wasn't for the lack of colour on it.

We had to wait over an hour in line to get in the pyramid - we didn't want to get a pre-paid museum pass because we knew this would be the only place we'd use it so it didn't make sense. If it wasn't scorching hot, we would've relaxed by the fountains but there was also too much ground to cover.

Just as you enter the complex you realize the enormity of what lays ahead. There is no way you can cover the whole place in a day, so don't even try. The overcrowding and limited time prevented us from enjoying every work of art. But how amazing it would be to live here and visit it at leisure to take in the beauty and history of all the pieces on display?

The Mona Lisa was a let down. Because of the barricades, you can't get near it for a clear view, and all the pushing and shoving in the overcrowded viewing area makes you beat a hasty retreat.

Apart from the artefacts, the palace itself is a sight to behold - the architecture, paintings on the ceilings, carved interiors - you need to keep swivelling your head all the way around to not miss anything.

- Marble sculptures - Venus de Milo, Michaelangelo's Slaves, Winged Victory, Sleeping Hermaphrodite, Cupid's Kiss
- Paintings - Portraits (like the very cute Monsieur Vallet by Pierre-Paul Prud'Hon), Sauvage's 3-D painting of Bacchanalia, Napoleon's Coronation
- Artefacts - The Islamic Art Collection, the Sphinx
- Architecture - The Henri II Staircase, Medieval Louvre