Adventure in France- The Louvre

Our last full day in Paris was spent at the Louvre. Originally a fortress the Louvre Palace has undergone numerous additions and renovations as it was transformed from royal residences into an art museum. Like Versailles it is difficult to convey the size of this buildings. Now shaped like a giant u (it used to be a giant rectangle) with two enormous side wings and 2 large central wings connecting them. Within the wings are 2 giant courtyards. The side wings are about 4-5 full city blocks long and the central wings are a good city block long. The wings are all about a half a block wide and made up of 3-4 very high-ceilinged floors. Its remarkably easy to get lost in there. The Louvre is a must see but you need to plan out what time periods you want to visit and keep in mind three is probably the limit for one full day in the museum. We started in Babylon and ended up in the Northern Rennaissance and accidently saw most of everything in between- and I ended up with a major overstimulation headache to prove it.
A ruin from ancient Babylon.
The first mother and child? It was incredible to see something so lovingly handcrafted from over 4,000 years ago.
These monumental figures are life size reproductions, which makes them no less impressive.
Venus on a half-shell
The “Winged Victory of Samonthrace” parting the crowds
We didn’t originally plan to stop by and see Mona but trying to find the Venus De Milo we got lost and ended up in the Italian Rennaissance wing and figured, “Why not?”. The Mona Lisa is much smaller than you would expect and it would have been better if you could move in a bit closer but security restrictions are there for a reason. The line to see her moved very quickly.
My favorite from the Italian Rennaissance wing is “La Belle Jardiniere”. This is quite a bit larger than the Mona Lisa, not housed under glass and you can get pretty up close and personal with it. Best of all – no lines!
I was never expecting to see this peculiar classic outside of Janson’s History of Art.
The Sun King himself painted by Hyacinthe Rigaud. This adorned the walls on a portion of the Louvre adjoining the former apartments of Napoleon III. These apartments done in the Second Empire style are a must see within this must see.
And I finally got to see an original Heironymus Bosch painting in person. This piece entitled, “The Ship of Fools” is quite small and unassuming at first glance. You can get quite close to it though and really appreciate all the fine detail work. Note the menacing little owl hiding in the greenery up top.
Next it was time to explore Condrieau in the Rhone Valley. *Stay Tuned*

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