Sunday, June 15, 2014

Musee du Louvre Musings

Pyramids and triangles are a repeated theme in every substance imaginable.  Not only does the pyramid throw golden replicas of itself on other buildings in the museum, but water features, green swaths, and even the tourists seem to align themselves in this geometric forms.
Depending on which source you consult,  it can take weeks, months or years to see everything in the Louvre, so why not concentrate on just a few areas?  Of course you'll want to see the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa, but you may enjoy other works that don't require fighting crowds for a view.  You'll see what I mean in the next photo. 
This is as close as I got to the Mona Lisa. And this was after five minutes of working my way forward!

Of course, if you go almost anywhere in Paris in June you can't help running into those delightful children who are taking their end-of-year school trips.  While trying to photograph an antiquity, David suddenly found himself surrounded!
So, find a subject that interests you and head for that section, praying all the while that the schoolkids will soon be going to lunch.

 One area I particularly enoyed was the Napoleon III apartment  section.  Despite his unfortunate name, this Napoleon was a good guy.  He changed the look of Paris by giving Haussmann carte blanche in designing the streets, parks and many public areas of Paris; modernized the banking system; admitted the first women to the Sorbonne and encouraged schooling for girls; introduced art and music classes to the public school curriculum; and gave workers the right to strike.  That last achievement caused a great deal of trouble for David and me, but more on that later.
While Napoleon III is repsonsible for much of Paris's beauty, he clearly didn't stint when it came to his own housing either.  These furnishings might have been a bit over the top even for Versailles, and I seldom have seen anyone so enamored of chandeliers.  Elaborate contraptions hang from every ceiling, are mounted on every wall, and light up every corner.
And how would you like to have been a dinner guest?  You might have had to pass notes to communicate with your host, but at least you would have had plenty of other people to talk to since this table seats at least forty.
David also took me through the antiquities section where we saw his favorite objects: Egyptian sarcophagi, art, statues, hieroglyphic stone tablets, papyrus, everyday implements, ancient coins, cuneiform writing from the Assyrians,  and jewelry.

So, remember to see what truly interests you at the Louvre instead of what everyone tells you to see, and you'll have a wonderful visit.

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