Monday, November 12, 2012
The Louvre in Paris is a museum which definitely can not be seen in one day. Vast halls of sculpture and paintings go on and on in this huge palace. It was funny to see the crowds swarm towards the Mona Lisa painted by Leonardo da Vinci. The portrait appeared postage stamp sized when viewed from the middle of the room. Mona Lisa smiled at the endless crowd of tourists who crushed up to shoot photos on their cell phones. Many couldn't get close enough, so they raised the cameras up over their heads to get a clear shot. Her image echoed across every view screen. One tourist decided to shoot a black and white sign with Mona Lisa's likeness that pointed towards the room. In the hallway outside there were several more paintings by da Vinci, but they went largely ignored. One woman almost sat in the lap of a statue's lap when she wanted to rest. Security guards quickly asked her to move.
Terry and I put in a marathon effort, seeing as much art as we could in one day. Terry wanted to see the Napoleonic Apartments which I thought would be a bore, but I was well impressed by the lavish, excessive opulence. I'm amazed the rooms survived the French Revolution. I didn't sketch until we left the museum. Seeing so much art left me itching to draw. I immediately sat down opposite this Louis XlV statue as the sun set. I should have thought twice because half way into the sketch, the sun burst out from behind the clouds blinding me as I stared straight at it. In another way it was a blessing because it forced me to only see bold simple silhouettes. Artists seem able to work in absolute anonymity in Paris. I was surrounded once by a Japanese tourist group. I didn't understand a thing they said but I have to assume that the chatter was positive. Terry and I went out for a magnificent diner that night, I believe at Un P'tit Coin Du Cuisine. The fine dining and wine helped us recoup from our museum burn.