Sunday, November 7, 2010

Paris- The Louvre, a Must-See Spot

Where do you begin to discuss Arts and Culture in a city like Paris whose history is filled with centuries of arts and culture? I'll start at the Louvre which I found out was first a prison, then a palace and then a museum. It is so big, there is no way to see all of it in one visit. We did not even try. We headed right to the Mona Lisa (pictured above) and stayed in that general area.

Right across from the Mona Lisa was the huge painting I have pictured above. I have never seen such a large painting. I was amazed by its size!! I looked at it for over 20 minutes absorbing all that was in it. It was unusual because there were musicians in the dining area and nobles and peasants eating together. I was interested in how he lightened the colors to show perspective and make the background seem farther away. He also used steps up to imply steps back. He painted a powerful, majestic social scene.

Veronese’s Wedding of Cana (1562-63) the Louvre’s largest painting, now hangs directly across from its most famous one. To remove this gigantic canvas from the gallery before the remodeling started, workers had to break the door frames of the Salle des États. The frames were eventually replaced with removable ones. Some visitors may find the 84 feet separating Mona Lisa from Veronese too close for comfort. Unlike Leonardo’s small and intimate portrait, the Veronese is a painting you really need to back up to see. The Louvre has pointed out, however, that the refectory at San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, where the painting originally hung before its 1798 seizure by Napoléon, was also just about the same distance.

The Louvre Pyramid (pictured above) is a large glass and metal pyramid, surrounded by three smaller pyramids, in the main courtyard and serves as the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. Completed in 1989,it has become a landmark of the city of Paris. The pyramid and the underground lobby beneath it were created because of a series of problems with the Louvre's original main entrance, which could no longer handle an enormous number of visitors on an everyday basis. Visitors entering through the pyramid descend into the spacious lobby then re-ascend into the main Louvre buildings.

This is a must-see place when visiting Paris!!

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