Wednesday, December 19, 2007

a stroll through the Louvre

Touring the Louvre Museum was the absolute highlight of our trip to Paris for me. I don't have the words to describe the breathtaking, utterly amazing collection. My photographs don't do it justice, but I'll share them with you anyway. These are some of the wonderful things we saw in the two days we spent touring the halls of musée du Louvre.

A view of the pyramid as we arrived. I think this was on the second day. The first day, it was raining, and we entered from the Metro through an attached shopping mall. We arrived so early that day, we did not have to wait in line to enter the museum. When we began walking in the corridors, they were nearly deserted. I was in heaven.

One of the corridors as seen from a staircase. Every inch of the museum is lovely.

There is an exhibit in the basement of the Louvre that details the history of the building. This is from inside, part of the original structure, a fortress that dates to the twelfth century. The showy palace that you see from outside was added much later.

I love this majestic lion. He is a Roman antiquity, fashioned of green basanite and yellow marble.

This flaxen funerary hanging, Death Between Osiris and Anubis, depicts Osiris, the departed, and Anubis. The arm that Anubis extends offers protection in the afterlife.

The title of this lovely piece is Psyche revived by the kiss of Love. It is one of my favorite sculptures that we saw. This photo simply does not do it justice.

There were many gorgeous vessels such as this amphora.

An unwrapped mummy. My lovely daughter thought it quite funny that he was draped in that fashion.

Dircé, wife of Lycus and devotee of Dionysus. In Greek mythology, Lycus was a ruler of ancient Thebes. She was sculpted by Bartoli, a Florentine artist between 1824 and 1834.

Mercury, messenger of the Gods, by Giambologna, about 1608.

Egyptian jewelry

An incredibly detailed mummy of a pharaoh, though I don't remember which one. Notice the intricate pattern on the face.

The goddess Nut raising the sun, engraved on the basalt lid of the sarcophagus of Djedhor, a Pharaoh of Egypt's Thirtieth Dynasty. He came to power in 362 B.C.

I don't remember who this guy is anymore, but isn't he fabulous?

In the Denon Wing, we saw many students copying the great masters. My favorite was an old man copying a beautiful Italian painting, but for some reason I cannot find a picture of him. Their work was always quite amazing.

Egyptian artifacts

I could have spent the entire available time walking through the galleries of the Louvre. We saw parts of two wings, the lobby and the gift shop. I suppose I'll just have to go back.


willowtree said...

Those are great photos, I'm surprised they let you take them, especially with the flash.

laurie said...

it was interesting, they let us take pictures in the d'orsay, too.

we never went inside the louvre. we walked through the grounds, we posed for pictures by the pyramid, and we never went in. it was too fricking big!!! and we only had five days in paris.

so, like you, we'll just have to go back.

i love that psyche revived by a kiss sculpture, too.

(did you go to the rodin museum? that was my favorite.)

Kim said...

Well, Willowtree, there were pieces, like the Mona Lisa, and certain temporary exhibits, that you were not allowed to take photos of with or without the flash. There is a Botticelli frescoe that literally brought tears to my eyes, it was so breathtaking. I wanted a picture of it but it wasn't allowed, so I bought a postcard.

It's funny what people feel they have to do when traveling. If I could have done only one thing in Paris, it would have been to go to the Louvre. I can't imagine not going inside, Laurie. I loved the d'orsay as well. Rodin was wonderful. It was raining that day, so we didn't get to enjoy the gardens as much as I would have liked, but I went out with my scarf over my head and stood in front of the Gates of Hell. It was magnificent.

Kim said...

You know, Willowtree, I didn't think it was that odd that we could take pictures. We'd already been to the d'Orsay and the Rodin and taken photos, and I had also taken a ton of photos at the British Museum. I guess I thought it was just a European thing.

Last summer or fall, there was a British Museum exhibit on Egypt touring that stopped at the OKC Museum of Art. I had pictures of some of the things there from London, but I couldn't take pictures of them in OKC. And I thought that was an American thing.

thefoodsnob said...

Wow, just amazing. I hope I can go someday.
(Seeing the pyramid makes me think of the DaVinci Code. I wonder if there's been some crazy who believes it and has tried to get inside?)


the rotten correspondent said...

Wow. I so need to go to Paris. Those shots are amazing. And what a memory you have, to keep all of that straight.

The biggest museum I've ever been in was the Hermitage in (used to be) Leningrad, Soviet Union. It would have taken days and days to have even briefly eyeballed everything. But it was beyond breathtaking. They wouldn't allow pictures either, darn it.

elizabethm said...

Great pictures. I took my kids when they were teenagers and we agreed that we would only do two hours so that we didnt get "looked out". I wasn't sure how they would take it as they were at the 14 to 15 year old stage where most things are boring but they loved it and the following day made me take them to the Musee D'Orsay as well.

Potty Mummy said...

I love galleries and museums but tend to get art fatigue in around 2 hours. After that I have to find a pavement cafe to sit in and drink red wine or hot chocolate. Strangely enough there are plenty of those in Paris, I remember. And even stranger - I never got cafe fatigue. That says something about me...

-Ann said...

I liked the architecture of the Louvre and the grandness of it all, but that's not really my style of art. I loved the Musee d'Orsay though. (but my most favourite museum ever was the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam)

Kim said...

You would love it, Lisa. There are so many fantastic things to see, and the food is just to die for.

There are tours of Paris now tailored just for fans of "The Da Vinci Code". I'm sure they are well attended by avid fans.

You should go, RC. It is a spectacular place to visit. The sense of history is overwhelming. I loved it. My memory is fairly good, but honestly, I chose pictures to jive with my memory. I have plenty of pictures where I would have said, "pretty statue" or "lovely painting" or "gorgeous vase". I want to go through and label my pictures before I totally forget if I took them at the Louvre or the Rodin or the D'Orsay.

I'd love to go to a museum in Russia. That would be so cool. I am a big Romanov dynasty aficionado.

My daughter was sixteen when we went. We did the Louvre, the D'Orsay, the Rodin, Versailles, the Opera Garnier, and a Dali exhibit. She never tired of it. But she is not your typical teenager. I'm glad your kids enjoyed it, Elizabeth. If I were as close as you are, I think I'd go to Paris every year.

Art fatigue? I can't imagine. I adore museums. We have some world class museums in Oklahoma, and I go at least once every year. Cafe fatigue? I can't imagine. Especially in Paris!

I love all of it, Ann. I would be so excited to go to the Van Gogh museum. The D'Orsay was gorgeous, too. I really loved looking at all of the impressionist works. That's one of my favorite periods. Do you go to do these kinds of things a lot now that you live over on that side of the pond?