The Wittbloom’s Louvre, or: A bunch of chandeliers and armless Zack

17 Oct

FSCN0591

We didn’t really have a plan going into the Louvre. In fact, the only planning we’d done was to consider pre-purchasing our tickets to this beast of a  museum, because we’d been warned over and over again that waiting in line to purchase our tickets was going to take an eternity. We ended up not pre-purchasing, and we were able to waltz right up to an automated teller, buy our tickets, and walk into the museum in about 3 minutes*. The museum guide shows you where the most popular art pieces are located, as well as a general map of, “OK, you got your statues here, your paintings here…” etc. Since I knew Van Gogh and Monet were featured more in the other two museums we had planned to visit (the d’Orsay and Rodin), I was open to just wandering to areas that sounded kind of cool and seeing what happened. What that ended up meaning was a lot of statues that we didn’t take photos of**, and even more old-school apartment*** furniture that we took a TON of photos of.

*Not a crash or anything, but very smooth entry.

**Aside from a Vine of penis statues.

***Old school apartment makes it sound like we took pictures of shag carpeting and lava lamps.

DSCN0551

The iconic Louvre pyramid (or, as I continued to falsely describe it, “the triangle”) is as impressive as you thought it might be. I didn’t realize that it was both above ground, and then reversed underground. I also somehow didn’t realize that the bulk of the Louvre is actually the long, skinny rectangular buildings that look like a parliament office or something. For some silly reason, I thought all of the art was underground, underneath the pyramid. I don’t know. I’m a silly American. I honestly had no idea what it looked like before we went, I just knew the Mona Lisa was there and they filmed The Da Vinci Code there. Caitlin calling it the triangle half a dozen times cracked me up, but it really was beautiful.

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 9.23.58 AM

As we’ve discussed, the statues were really awesome, but there were signs posted that you weren’t supposed to take photos* of them. People did anyway, regularly, so we probably could have documented them more, but all we managed to snap was this super sex-ay couple (although, maybe it’s just me, but that dude’s face is CREEPY). My favorite statue, which I didn’t get a photo of, was this incredible brass piece where a woman was being saved by who I think was probably one of the old Roman gods, with the two flying off on a pegasus-lizard out of the jaws of a whale-alligator? The detail was exquisite and the expressions were really moving to me, for some reason. If you go to the Louvre and don’t really know where to go, I totally recommend the statues.** They’re entertaining and interesting, and I think it’s fascinating that people can sculpt ROCK to make art.

*They just didn’t want you to take flash photography. Everyone was very obviously taking photos. 

**Agreed. I’ve always been a big statues fan. Paintings are hit or miss, but any realistic looking statue is impressive to me and they obviously have some of the best, most famous ones here. 

DSCN0552

Clearly, though, the show-stealer for us was Napoleon III’s Apartments. Chandeliers! Gold leaf! Art! Red velvet! Everywhere you turned, it was a feast for the eyes. Caitlin was in absolute heaven during the entire exhibit. I respected the lil’ man’s collection. How could you not?

DSCN0557

Who puts velvet on the walls? Napoleon III, that’s who! “You know, if it was socially acceptable I’d drape myself in velvet.

FSCN0556

Zack did a yellow isolation on this photo, which makes me look a bit ill but the chandelier is super cool. I liked how it brought out the yellow/gold of everything from the chandelier to the railing to her bag and hair.

FSCN0597

Can I live in this jewel-toned world forever? We’ll book this as our hotel in 2016.

FSCN0600

This room appeared to be for “entertaining.” Time to get that circle couch for our apartment, methinks. Or a bean bag chair?

DSCN0560

Every time I saw a chandelier, I thought to myself, “This is the largest, more intricately detailed and gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen.” Then we’d walk to the next room, and there’d be an even larger, more detailed and gorgeous chandelier there. IT NEVER STOPPED. The word chandelier always makes me think of this.

DSCN0566

I don’t know what it is about all of these luxe materials that just sets me at awe, but there’s something here that pulls everything together and keeps it from feeling gaudy, or like something your great grandma might decorate with. It’s just royalty, embodied in objects. It’s definitely grandma style, if your grandma was crazy rich.

DSCN0567

This is my, “…you believe this?” face. That look never left her face. 

DSCN0571

As we wound around the museum, we had some great views out onto the courtyard in between the buildings. Those triangular fountains were incredible, and just look at the way the sky bounces off the glass of the pyramid. It’s truly breathtaking. Some could argue that it’s even more beautiful on the outside than the inside. 

DSCN0569

Not sure who this lucky lady is, but I’d like to go ahead and just camp out in her room for a while, if it’s all the same to the Louvre. Hotel Louvre booked for 7 nights in the Napolean suite for 2016.

small2

Probably not a dining room you’d want to have breakfast cereal in wearing your pajamas. Unless you’re that kid who got a blank check. The table is a bit long to chat with friends at the other end, but you can not deny it’s baller.

small3

After we pulled ourselves away from the Napoleon awesomeness, we wandered around a bit longer, getting lost in boring religious paintings and some really old cave artwork that made Zack nearly have a panic attack (he does NOT like that stuff*). We figured we’d sort of go in the direction of the Mona Lisa, and see if we just happened to stumble upon it. Instead, we stumbled upon the Venus de Milo, which was INSANELY crowded as you can probably gather from this fuzzy snapshot. Still, it was cool to see in person, if only for a few fleeting moments.

*We were trapped in this nightmare and Caitlin was looking at a map and I just insisted we walk away to anything else. 

small4

Zack didn’t want Venus to feel alone, so he went armless for this photo op. After we snapped this, we were both exhausted and craving some life-altering hot chocolate, so we called it a day. All in all, we probably spent a good 2 hours in the Louvre, and we really got to see quite a bit. Still, we saw only a fraction of what you could see there. I’d say it’s best to go in a small chunk like that, and then just go back again another time if you missed something you really wanted to see. If you overtire, you’re just going to be cranky and hate your experience. We spent just the right amount of time, deftly avoiding the most traffic-jammed touristy areas and filling our minds with visions of velvet and crystal. A damn good way to spend your afternoon, if you ask me. Yeah, totally agree. Even if we’re not the biggest museum fans, we were totally glad we went and I know we’d like to go back again next time. We didn’t even see the Mona Lisa, since, much like her expression, we’re not quite sure how we feel about her. We’ll have to go back and see her in person to know. 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: