My interest in Musée du Louvre began when I first read Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code. If you are familiar with Dan Brown’s work and a fan of Robert Langdon than you would about Louvre Museum but if you have no clue what I am talking about then for you it is one of the world’s largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. Well it’s just not a museum, its “museums among museums”. When I came to know that we are going to Paris the second most exciting thing came to my mind was the Louvre Museum, well the first was the Eiffel Tower.
The Pyramid at the main entrance of Louvre
The moment we entered the Museum entrance through tube station I instantly felt the Museum vibe when I saw hundreds of people roaming in the entrance, long queue for the tickets and I think that was one of the busiest day in the Museum.
Inside the Museum
The Museum is housed in Palais du Louvre (Louvre Palace) which was built on the right-bank of Siene river, site of the 12th – century fortress of Philip Augustus to protect the cité from invaders. Later in the century another fortress built-in part to serve as defense against England. The Louvre no longer serves as a site of defense. The Louvre remains unoccupied for 100 years or so after the death of King Charles VI. In 1527, Francois-I moves in and entirely demolishes the medieval keep. The Louvre moves into its Renaissance guise. 1546, Francois-I commissioned the architect Pierre Lescot to improve it and adapt it to the new Renaissance tastes.
From 1624-1672, under the reign of Louis XIII and Louis XIV, the Louvre undergoes an intensive series of renovations, resulting in the palace we recognize today. In 1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre primarily as a place to display the royal collection, including, from 1692, a collection of antique sculpture. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum, to display the nation’s masterpieces.
It is almost impossible to see the entire museum in a couple of hours and do justice to every piece of art that is placed from the 6th century BC till the 19th century AD. So I picked up the Museum guide and gave a quick glance, it wasn’t a quick glance though. It was impossible to decide where to begin and what to cover in a day in the grand museum. We decided to see the most famous of all first from each section, and to our known surprise the most famous were also hundreds of them. Finally we decided to begin the Museum journey with the “Monalisa” and then see everything in that gallery.
Monalisa. I first read about this painting in my secondary class under the chapter of Renaissance World of Social Studies. Back then I had no clue about this painting’s importance. Although I did managed to make up my interest in Leonardo Da Vinci but painting looked very regular to me. Moving to college, I understood that this painting is no ordinary one, it has something unsaid, something enigmatic. Then I came across Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and after that my only wish was to see Monalisa and the Louvre once in my life. When we (actually I) decided to see Monalisa, an adernaline rushed through my body. Meanwhile Reva was not at all happy to be in her stroller, so Vishal decided to stayed back with her and asked me to go and take my time to see the portrait. Quickly I moved to towards the room where she was located. After walking for 2-3 minutes I saw extremely crowded room where people were hovering around a small and only painting on the wall, so there was she . I guess half of the crowd who comes in Louvre actually comes for Monalisa. Finally I managed to get inside the bunch and tried to capture her in the camera –
Monalisa - all protected in glasses
Yeah I had hard times to get a nice picture of her, there is one with close up –
Not so nice but that’s all I got 😦
Do you know her real name is Lisa del Giocondo also known as Lisa Gherardini, Lisa di Antonio Maria. A member of the Gherardini family of Florence and Tuscany and the wife of wealthy Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo. Her husband commissioned Leonardo for their new home and to celebrate the birth of their second son, Andrea. Though there is no evidence about that and some even says that the portrait of the Mona Lisa is in fact Leonardo’s female version of himself. Leonardo Da Vinci began painting the Mona Lisa in 1503 or 1504 in Florence, Italy and finished it shortly before he died in 1519. Oh it was such an incredible experience watching her.
After seeing Monalisa we began our stroll in the gallery, boy! it was so crowded that day. Here are some famous and infamous paintings we captured –
Madonna and Child in Majesty surrounded by Angels
The Virgin of the Rocks - another painting by Leonardo
Artwork on the Roof
Elbow by Tony Cragg, it is made from wood. Incredible work!
Hall where all the sculptures from Tony Cragg are on display
Some beautiful Paintings on the wall
While taking rest, we sat in front of this huge and chaotic painting, We decided to interpret it. After minutes of gibberish talking we understand that the chaos in the room is done by the Jesus's running sheep (the man wearing red cape)
I think we had only covered only 10% of Louvre but it was such a pleasant visit. Most of the time we were wondering how the hell one can make such an intricate work, I mean its amazing to see those beautiful paintings, sculptures, there is one sculpture of an angel where you can actually see how the cloths are blowing by the gush of the wind – amazing !! I am totally coming again to Louvre. This time a little background study on the art and history and a SLR camera.