Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Louvre, Part I

We left Tours, drove the 3 hours to Paris, stowed our luggage in a couple rooms, since ours weren't as a whole ready to check in, and then split in several groups, depending on who would be going to Normandy Saturday morning, and who could see museums then.  I went with a group straight to the Louvre, via Metro, of course--the only way to travel in Paris.  We got our tickets in a shop in the underground, Metro-connected mall--miles, I'd guess, of various stories and cafes heading to the Louvre.  I noticed a store for our friendly perfume makers, from Eze--
and eyed a Starbucks for later in the day.

The Louvre itself, the building, is quite grand, though as Liz told us, never intended to be a museum. 
It started as "a dark fortress" in the 12th century, had a few kings live there, and only in 'recent' times became a museum--which means it isn't set up to display paintings, or to move easily between the 3 major wings.  Still, it has so many iconic works of art there.  Such as this, in a stairway...
and this 14th Century Madonna, which I recognized from a passage in my ESOL text--
Willy took this to show the scale of various paintings.  "The Wedding," I think.
But all this is leading to the most celebrated work, well, you know this one...
Notice, as much as anything, the hordes of people, all here to snap a photo.  It is an odd thing.  Somehow the photo creates our reality, more than the direct experience--but Lee, our traveling art expert, is going to blog about that...

Leaving the Mona Lisa, our small group wandered toward the other "must see" things.  Along the way, one of the many, many centaur-inspired pieces of art (I decided "centaur" was the secret theme of the day).
And this bit of marble, I believe from the Parthenon, though Keats' "Elgin Marble" would have been in London (other pillagers).
And let's get out of this blog with one more nice little artwork...

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