The Louvre itself is a work of art; that can be admired from outside and of course from within.
It's the place I take visitors on their first day when they arrive in Paris. We don't go in, just admire from outside. I've often wondered why I keep doing that and then I thought back to my first time in paris. It was late august and P and I were out exploring the city when we came upon the louvre & pyramids. I was mesmerized and still am when I see it at night. What makes it so captivating is not only the fact that it's huge, but it's new & old contrasting attributes. The louvre palace - old. The pyramid symbol itself- old. The pyramid in glass - new. Parisian street lamps lining the palace - old. The luminous glass pyramids - new.
Here's a photo from the first time I saw the Louvre in 2010.
I recently had a visit from my parents who wanted to visit the museum inside. I hadn't been inside since 2010, so I gladly took them. It was a rainy wednesday evening when we went, which was perfect because the louvre is open until 9:45 pm Wed & Fri. I'm all about tips & life hacks that allow for a speedier easier way to getting things done.
Tip: We purchased our tickets in advanced at fnac and picked them up in the store (this was no hassle since I have a store close to my apt). This allowed us to breeze past the ticket line and waltz straight into the museum. Using the 1st Arrondissement Parisian Inspired itinerary we were able to get into the Louvre using a lesser known entrance ;)
The first thing I wanted to see once inside was my favorite sculpture of all time, The Nike of Samothrace. I searched high and low, but discovered she's currently being restored and will be out again in the summer - Wah! Anywho, next we were off to see the Mona Lisa. She's not hard to find, just follow the crowd. Once in the room where she's held, I was relieved to find that it wasn't as crowded as I had imagined. The crowd was about 3 people deep, so once everyone got their photos I was able to get up to her in less than 5 minutes.
I had always heard how 'small' she was, but I found her to be the right size of what one would expect of a portrait. I was interesting in how 'yellow' her skin looked. It made me realize that this is indeed an old painting. My parents and I were impressed with it's security system. It looks like she's on a track and maybe goes into the ground at night and the walls on either side of her closes around her. After seeing lady Mona, we leisurely walked through the italian, spanish and french art halls, all lovely.
We continued on to see some Islamic art, greek art and roman sculptures; Venus de Milo as well. It was cool to see art students and artists stationed all over the museum sitting on the floor and tucked in corners sketching away. Please excuse my grainy iphone photos ;)
We wandered down under the Louvre to find the medieval exhibit. This was cool because it shows the remains of the medieval palace the louvre once was. This is how the palace once looked.
Here's what remains of the palace under the louvre!
This is around the time my dad cut out. I must say I'm proud of him for hanging on as long as he did haha. Though tired, mom and I continued on to the Egyptian art.
We admired everything from temple sculptures, handmade jewelry and vast collection of beautifully decorated sarcophaguses.
Both my mother and I are jewelry makers and found it so cool to see the jewelry the Egyptians created are the exact same pieces that we are still wearing today. By now we were about ready to go, mainly because our feet hurt. This is when we learned the Louvre is a wondrous place until you're too far in it and ready to leave. Every exit sign we followed often led to a locked door or a corner. I felt like I was in a maze. This went on for about 20 minutes. Whilst lost and looking for a way out, we came across a mummy that was tucked in a dark corner.
The last thing we wanted was to get locked in the louvre all night with mr. mummy, so we decided to just retrace our steps and 20 minutes later we were in the museum lobby. Win! You really need a full day or three to really see everything in this museum. I'm looking forward to returning and spending some more time with the art.