Le Louvre

Blog 3 of 3 – Paris.

So I finally made it to the Louvre today (inside I mean). I went alone – and made sure I got there at 9am – opening time. This time, much to my delight, I only had to wait in a line for 2 minutes to have my bag sent through an x-ray machine. This of course scared the crap out of me because despite all my insane planning to avoid being pick-pocketed (like tying my camera to my purse), my bag was taken, put through a machine and came out on the other side in the mob of people all grabbing for theirs (or maybe not their) bags. I had no control. That scares me.

Did I mention that I navigated my way via metro to the Louvre all by myself? I am becoming quite the pro – mainly because I spend large portions of the day staring at metro and Paris maps planning the perfect route. Bryces be proud – everyone else, stop mocking me.

I then bought myself a ticket from a machine which, of course, nicely spoke English, and headed on in. I chose the Mona Lisa hall first. I didn’t bee-line for the painting itself immediately or anything but I thought that I might as well get it out of the way.

Some observations about the Louvre:
1) It is incredibly difficult to navigate. Apparently I can only function in a linear, Ikea-style layout that has an arrow pointing to the appropriate route I must follow so that I can be sure to see EVERYTHING on display. I probably missed a bunch of things, as well as backtracked a lot to try and not miss things but still move forward.
2) The blissful feeling of being able to stroll through a museum with only 20 other people in that same room (ROM style) ends quickly. By 10am it was getting busy and by 10:30 I was claustophobic.
3) I don’t like over-hyped Art. I have never really understood the fame of the Mona Lisa, but I am also a little offended by it. 80% of the post cards have that picture on it, there are signs everywhere directing you right to her, she has her own giant wall devoted just to her and a glass case to protect her – not to mention her very own security guard. Now sure, I went to the Louve mostly to say that I had been there, but at least I wasn’t going exclusively to see one uni-browed woman. I’m not going to even try to pretend to be knowledgeable or a connoisseur of art because, lets face it, when is the last time I went to the AGO? But isn’t the point of great art to speak to someone personally on some level?

Strangely enough my favourite piece was of Jesus. It was in the first sculpture room that I was in. Generally I don’t love sculptures because I don’t think they are all that exciting. Could I sculpt that? No. Would I fly to Paris just to see one of those many naked man-statues? Not likely. The one I liked was a life-sized sculpture of Jesus being lifted down from the cross with 3 other men around him. I’m not really sure what it is that I liked about this piece – it just evoked emotion. I think perhaps it was the absolute calmness on the face of Jesus, and the complete pain on the faces of all the others.

I walked back to the hotel – about an hour walk – through an area I hadn’t yet seen and then I took a nap. I am not being particularly productive now either but I think I will go bid farewell to Monoprix and buy an Orangina.



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