Louvre, Paris

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99 rue de Rivoli, Paris, France, 75058 +33 1 40 20 50 50
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    Louvre Museum, Paris, France
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  • The Lady with an Ermine by da Vinci.
    The Lady with an Ermine by da Vinci.
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    Tapestries at the Louvre (1st)

    by Nemorino Updated Jan 28, 2015

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    On the first floor of the Richelieu Wing of the Louvre there are several large rooms devoted to sixteenth-century Renaissance tapestries. I recently had the privilege of going through these rooms with VT member breughel (Eddy), who is a connoisseur not only of paintings but also of tapestries, especially those from his home country of Belgium.

    I was especially interested in seeing these historic tapestries because a few weeks earlier I had toured the Gobelin manufactory in Paris and seen how tapestries are made by traditional weaving methods – a very slow and laborious process!

    One of the large galleries in the Louvre, room 19, displays all twelve tapestries of the series “The Hunts of Maximilian”. Since there is one tapestry for each month of the year, we can infer that the hunting season was open all year round in those days – at least for Maximilian I, who was the emperor and could hunt whenever and wherever he pleased.

    In addition to hunting, Maximilian I was also a big fan of jousting. In German he was known as der letzte Ritter (the last knight), because he kept on jousting in tournaments even after this sort of combat had become obsolete on the battlefield.

    When he wasn’t hunting or jousting, Maximilian I also fought several wars to expand his empire, but in fact the largest expansions of his empire came through the marriages that he arranged for himself, his son and his grandson.

    All these hunting scenes take place in the outskirts of Brussels or the nearby Sonian Forest. Eddy told me that some of the buildings in the background still exist in Brussels today. He also pointed out the symbol in the lower left hand corner of some of the tapestries:

    B

    B

    This means that the tapestry was woven in “Brussels in Brabant”.

    The designs (known as ‘cartoons’) for these tapestries were made by a painter named Bernard van Orley. Apparently the tapestries were commissioned by Maximilian’s grandson, Emperor Charles V, or by someone at his court. Sixty weavers worked for two years to produce the twelve tapestries.

    The one in my first photo is from the month of March, which as Eddy explained was at that time the first month of the year.

    To learn more about medieval and renaissance tapestries, please have a look at the many reviews on this subject by VirtualTourist member breughel, who has described tapestries on display in Paris, Krakow, Toulouse, Beaune and Brussels, among other places.

    Fifth photo: This is an entirely different tapestry from room 10 on the first floor of the Richelieu Wing. It shows three phases of working with wool. The girl on the left is holding a sheep that she is going to shear. The young man in the middle is winding the wool into a ball and the girl on the left is weaving on a small portable loom.

    This was known as a "Noble Pastorale" tapestry because is shows young lords and ladies playing at being shepherds. This was evidently a popular pastime for young aristocrats and is also reflected in numerous operas including Mozart’s La finta giardiniera ("The Pretend Garden-Girl") and Il rè pastore (“The Shepherd King”).

    This style of tapestries is also called mille-fleurs meaning a thousand flowers, because of the many flowers in the background.

    Next review from September 2013: Claude Lorrain at the Louvre

    Directions:
    Vélib' 1013, 1025
    Métro Palais-Royal-Musée du Louvre
    GPS 48°51'39.60" North; 2°20'8.85" East

    Phone: 01 40 20 51 77

    Website: http://cartelen.louvre.fr/cartelen/visite?srv=car_not_frame&idNotice=14760&langue=en

    The hunts of Maximilian: March The hunts of Maximilian: July The hunts of Maximilian: October The hunts of Maximilian: room 19 Working with wool, room 10
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    The Richelieu Wing of the Louvre (1st)

    by Nemorino Updated Jan 28, 2015

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    The Louvre, being such a huge museum, is divided up into three “wings”:

    • The big hollow square at the back, meaning the East, is called the Sully Wing, named after Maximilien de Béthune, the first Duke of Sully (1560–1641), who was the Finance Minister and chief advisor to King Henry IV.

    • The north wing, which runs for several blocks along the Rue de Rivoli, is called the Richelieu Wing after Cardinal Richelieu (Armand Jean du Plessis, 1585–1642), who was not only a Cardinal but also the Chief Minister of King Louis XIII, the son of Henry IV.

    • The south wing, which stretches along the right bank of the Seine, is called the Denon Wing after Dominique Vivant, Baron Denon (1747–1825), an archeologist, diplomat, author and artist who was appointed by Napoléon as the first director of the Louvre Museum in 1802. The Denon Wing is the most popular of the three (and hence the most crowded), because the Mona Lisa is on display there, also the Crowning of Napoleon and other well-known works.

    In 2013 I had the great pleasure of spending a day at the Louvre in the company of VT member breughel (Eddy), who is our resident expert on paintings and tapestries. We decided in advance to concentrate on the Richelieu Wing, where I hadn’t been for six years, because he wanted to show me some of his favorite paintings there and because I wanted to see the large collection of medieval and renaissance tapestries under his guidance.

    My first photo on this tip is a portrait of Saint Madeleine (aka Mary Magdalene) by the Flemish painter Quentin Metsys (1466-1530). This is a fairly recent acquisition, having been bought by the Louvre in 2006 for a reported five million Euros. It is on display in room 9 on the second floor of the Richelieu Wing, along with three other paintings by the same artist.

    Second photo: This is another painting by Quentin Metsys, called The Moneylender and His Wife. Here we have a contrast between the greedy money-lender, who is weighing pearls, jewels, and pieces of gold, and his pious wife, who is being distracted from the religious book she is reading. The Louvre’s website says that this painting “is an allegorical and moral work, condemning avarice and exalting honesty,” and that it was once owned by the painter Peter Paul Rubens.

    A point to note is that the moneylender’s wife is reading a religious book, but it is not the Bible. Reading the Bible was a capital offense in Catholic Flanders in the sixteenth century, because it was considered a subversive act, something only Protestants would do. In 1543, thirteen years after the death of Quentin Metsys, his sister Catherine and her husband were both put to death for reading the Bible – his head was chopped off and she was allegedly buried alive in the square in front of the church.

    Third photo: Another painting in the same room is this one of Saint Jerome in the desert by Joachim Patinir (1480-1524). Patinir was a student and friend of Quentin Metsys; when Patinir died in 1524, Metsys became the guardian of his children.

    Fourth photo: Next door in room 10 is this famous French painting from the Fontainebleau school of the late 16th century. It is presumed to be a portrait of Gabrielle d'Estrées, the chief mistress of Henry IV, and her sister, the Duchess of Villars. According to the Louvre’s website, the “ostentatious gesture” of the Duchess pinching her sister’s nipple “may be an allusion to Gabrielle's pregnancy and the birth in 1594 of César de Vendôme, the illegitimate son of Henry IV.”

    Fifth photo: Here Eddy (VT member breughel) is taking pictures of two famous paintings by Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675). On the left is The Lacemaker from 1669-1671, and on the right is The Astronomer from 1668. These paintings are on display in room 38 on the second floor of the Richelieu Wing.

    Next review from September 2013: Tapestries at the Louvre

    Directions:
    Vélib' 1013, 1025
    Métro Palais-Royal-Musée du Louvre
    GPS 48°51'39.60" North; 2°20'8.85" East

    Phone: 01 40 20 51 77

    Website: http://www.louvre.fr/en/rooms/pays-bas-premiere-moitie-du-xvie-siecle

    Metsys: Sainte Madeleine Metsys: The Moneylender and His Wife Patinir: Saint Jerome in the Desert Ecole de Fontainbleau Two paintings by Vermeer
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    Géricault - "Chasseur à cheval chargeant".

    by breughel Updated Jan 10, 2015

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    After the horrors of the "Radeau de la Méduse" it is nice to halt in the same room 77 for this splendid "Officier de chasseurs à cheval de la garde impériale chargeant" (officer of the cavalry of the imperial guard charging) full of movement by the same Théodore Géricault.
    The rearing horse was painted after a study of antic horse sculptures.
    This brilliant and large (3,50 x 2,60 m) painting dates from 1812, Géricault was only 20 and this was his first work. It represents the in that year still victorious army of Napoleon.

    At the Salon of 1814, in Paris occupied by the troops of the Coalition, Géricault exposes his second work "Cuirassier blessé" next to the first one. In a striking contrast with the first one, this painting represents a cavalry officer going away from the battle.
    His face turned to the slaughter that he has just left, translates the confusion, the defeat.
    Both paintings were not a commercial success; they were only sold after his death.

    Address: Denon, 1st floor, room 77

    Directions: Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre

    Gericault Louvre - G��ricault
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    MONA LISA IN THE CROWD.

    by breughel Updated Jan 3, 2015

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    At the beginning of the 1960s I visited for the first time Le Louvre.
    There was no pyramid; the facades of the Louvre were of a dirty grey colour as most of the buildings of Paris. No queue at the entrance of the museum. We were only four visitors in front of Mona Lisa. I returned in the nineties; the pyramid was standing there as well as the queues. We were more than forty to admire Mona Lisa.
    In the spring of 2005, I was again in the Louvre where the Joconde had just been installed in a new bigger room (Wing Denon, 1st floor, room 6). By curiosity I went to this new room to find inside and around a crowd of about 400 persons.
    In 40 years there had been a hundredfold increase of visitors to Mona Lisa!

    I abandoned and went to the Richelieu wing with on the 2nd floor the collections of the Dutch and Flemish painters. I was almost alone and could admire in all quietness (room 38) two Vermeer "The Lace maker" and "The Astronomer" and one painting of Pieter de Hooch.
    Shall I add that there are only few museums in the world which have two Vermeer's.
    On the first floor I paid a visit to the tapestries of Brussels with the famous "Hunting's of Maximilien".
    A bit before the closing time I returned to the room of La Joconde which I could finally approach.
    I was amazed at the Mona Lisa's bad look; she showed a greenish complexion; or is it the effect from the thick glass panel which protects her?
    I read that the Joconde would need a restoration; the wooden panel bends. But who in France will dare to make the decision to remove Mona Lisa from the Louvre for a restoration?
    By her attraction on the world tourism, Mona Lisa represents an important part of the GNP of France! There were 9,7 million visitors in 2012 at Le Louvre, about 31000 per day!

    No mystery anymore.
    Experts of the University library of Heidelberg have found a book belonging to Agostino Vespucci, an acquaintance of Da Vinci. A note in this book indicates that Mona Lisa was Lisa del Giocondo wife of Francesco del Giocondo a rich merchant of Florence. That's why in French we say La Joconde and not Mona Lisa.

    If you came to Paris only to see La Joconde -Mona Lisa there is a shortcut in the Louvre avoiding the procession of tourists moving slowly from the Pyramid entrance to La Joconde.
    See my tip "A shortcut to La Joconde - Mona Lisa" .

    NEW: A second Mona Lisa?!
    Since an amateur of art found a painting showing the alleged upper part of the body of the model painted by Courbet for his famous (scandalous according to some) "L'Origine du Monde" (ref my tip Scandalous Nudes at Orsay ) a foundation pretending that there is an earlier version of Leonardo da Vinci’s most celebrated painting "Mona Lisa" reached the media.
    About this Henri Loyrette director of Le Louvre said (Le Figaro 15/02/2013): «il n'y a qu'une et unique Joconde, celle du Louvre, dont l'historique est parfait puisqu'il vient directement de Léonard de Vinci dans les collections royales françaises.» "There is only one Joconde-Mona Lisa, the one of the Louvre, whose history is perfect since it comes directly from Leonardo da Vinci in the French royal collection".

    Address: Wing Denon, 1st floor, room 6

    Mona Lisa smiling at the crowd. Mona Lisa like tourists see. Vermeer
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    Ladies competing with Mona Lisa.

    by breughel Updated Jan 3, 2015

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    La Joconde is an old acquaintance of mine. We met in 1962 when I visited for the first time Le Louvre.
    In t(hose "medieval" times there was no pyramid; the facades of the Louvre were of a dirty grey color as most of the buildings of Paris. No queue at the entrance of the museum. We were only a few visitors in front of Mona Lisa!
    There were even no pickpockets in those blessed years of the golden sixties!

    Since then I have been several times to the Louvre passing by the Mona Lisa -La Joconde.
    From an academic point of view there is no doubt for me that this portrait is excellent. The enigmatic-ironic smile of the model certainly contributed to its glory.

    But … if on my first visit in 1962 I felt curiosity "so that's Mona Lisa", I never felt on my many visits that emotion, attraction, complicity which I often felt with other portraits and I have seen many portraits of women painted in the 15th and 16th century when lived Leonardo da Vinci.

    For example these ladies I met at the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, "Gemäldegalerie - Extraordinary paintings.". I had a real "coup de coeur" for these women painted by Van der Weyden, Petrus Christus and Botticelli in the 15th c.
    Or this lady by Robert Campin (1435) at the National Gallery, London. "Sainsbury wing"
    A paradoxical example of portraits for which I felt more interest than Mona Lisa was from da Vinci himself "The Lady with an Ermine" (Krakow museum)!

    These ladies gone since centuries made me think of "La Ballade des Dames du Temps Jadis" (Ballad of the Ladies of Times Past) a poem from François Villon (1461)

    Dictes moy ou n'en quel pays
    Est Flora le belle Romaine

    Qui beaulté ot trop plus qu'humaine.
    Mais ou sont les neiges d'antan?

    Tell me where, in which country
    Is Flora, the beautiful Roman;

    Who had a beauty too much more than human?
    Oh, where are the snows of yesteryear!?

    Directions: Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre

    The Lady with an Ermine by da Vinci. Lady by Van der Weyden. Lady by Petrus Christus. Lady by Robert Campin. Lady by Botticelli.
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    CLAUDE LORRAIN Ideal-Landscape paintings

    by breughel Updated Jan 3, 2015

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    Once you have seen a painting of Claude Lorrain (real name Claude Gelée, 1600 Lorraine-France - 1682 Rome) you can't miss his works in any museum over the world.
    His paintings are so typical with ideal landscapes and a poetic rendering of light. His landscapes contain classical ruins, often a coastal scene with boats in a seaport. It are idealized harbour scenes flanked on one or both sides with palaces. Tall ships ride at anchor. Light, however, is the key feature of the seaport pictures. Its source is often a visible sun just above the horizon or sometimes hidden behind a vessel or building at dawn or at sunset; his paintings are illuminated by the orange, gold shining sun. Claude Lorrain for the first time in art used the sun as the means of illuminating a whole picture. This use of light from the sky above the horizon enforces the effect of recession in depth.

    In the 17th c. landscapes were a minor art in Italy (on the contrary of the Netherlands); prized subjects were religious or mythic scenes. To feed the need for noble themes Claude Lorrain included mythological or biblic personnalities but they are small, almost lost in the landscape which was his main interest.
    The Louvre shows 9 paintings in wing Richelieu of the 250 which reached us. 2nd Floor, room 15.
    VT friend Nemorino is another connoisseur of Claude Lorrain see: "Claude Lorrain at the Louvre"

    Address: Le Louvre, Aile Richelieu, 2nd floor, room 15

    Louvre - Lorrain Claude Lorrain - Paysage dit Claude Lorrain Claude Lorrain Claude Lorrain
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    Géricault "Le Radeau de la Méduse".

    by breughel Updated Jan 3, 2015

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    Congratulations; you followed my tip "Mona Lisa in the crowd" and thanks to your height over 1.90 m, weight of 100 kg and your practice of rugby or football you were able to approach "La Joconde" the goal of your quest for the "Holy Grail".

    After the immobility of Mona Lisa you might like to discover the movement of the 19th century with the Romantic school as expressed by Théodore Géricault and his famous large painting (5 x 7 m.) "Le Radeau de la Méduse" (wing Denon, room 77).
    The terrible story of the wreck of the French frigate "La Méduse" is a real one (1816) and Géricault put a lot of realism in his painting.
    From the 150 man on the raft only five survived and it was said that there was cannibalism!
    No doubt that Géricault expressed a paradox: how to make a strong painting of a hideous motive, how to reconcile the art and the reality? He refused the constraints of the classic standards and looked for a more free way of painting. He used morbid, macabre colours, illustrating the death. Unfortunately, for the conservation of this painting, Géricault used dark pigments based on bitumen which don't dry well and, by passing through the paint layers, cause cracks and a general darkening effect.

    The horror of this subject fascinated and divided critics when it was shown at the Salon of 1819 as well as it does now in contrast with the placid Mona Lisa.

    For the full story of the "Méduse" I recommend (in French):
    www.paranormal-fr.net/dossiers/radeau-de-la-meduse.php

    Address: Denon wing, 1st floor, room 77.

    Directions: Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre

    Louvre - G��ricault Frigate
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    Photos in the Louvre

    by Beausoleil Updated Dec 31, 2014

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    Here's the official Louvre web site with the photo instructions. You can take photos of the Permanent Collection, not special exhibits. The last time we were there, you couldn't photograph the Mona Lisa but perhaps this has changed.

    Check the web site for prices, exhibits, a map of the Louvre, the entrances and fun looking through the online gallery.

    Official Web Site of the Louvre

    Museum photography policy

    The museum's board of directors has recently adopted a new Regulation regarding photography in the museum:

    "Still and video photography is permitted for private, noncommercial use only in the galleries housing the permanent collection.

    The use of flash or other means of artificial lighting is prohibited.
    Photography and filming are not permitted in the temporary exhibition galleries. The same restrictions apply to the photographing or filming of technical installations and equipment.

    Special permits can be obtained for educational or research projects; requests should be made in writing.

    Address: Metro: Palais-Royal-Musée du Louvre station.

    Directions: East end of the Tuileries Gardens between the Seine and rue di Rivoli

    Phone: +33 (0)1 40 20 57 60

    Website: http://www.louvre.fr/en/homepage

    Louvre Pyramid Court Dog & red ball in the Louvre Courtyard Venus and her fans The Lion's Gate, easy entrance Winged Victory of Samothrace and fans
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    Avoid the lines at the Louvre

    by Beausoleil Updated Dec 31, 2014

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    The easiest way to avoid long lines is to use the Porte des Lions or the Metro entrances.

    The Pyramid entrance is the line you see as you arrive and it is for security. Once you are past security, you go down the escalator and there are many ticket windows open. I don't know why they don't open several security lines, but you can avoid this by using another entrance where there is security but smaller (or no) lines. There is also an entrance out by the Carrousel du Louvre. It is down some stairs so a bit hard to see but it's worth looking for to save standing in line.

    The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Tuesday and the following holidays: January 1st, May 1st, November 11 and December 25.

    The permanent collection and temporary exhibitions will close at 5 p.m. on Christmas eve and New Years eve.

    The museum is open until 10 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday evenings except on certain holidays.

    Admission to the Louvre is free on the first Sunday of every month . . . and very crowded. I might add we were there on the first Sunday of May this year and walked right in at the Lion's Gate. There was a line clear around both courtyards at the main entrance and I'm sure people waited two hours there. It pays to walk a bit to one of the other entrances. (see map above)

    UPDATE 2014: They have changed their free Sunday policy. It is now as follows:
    From April to September: NO free admission on the first Sunday of each month.
    From October to March: access to the permanent collections is free for all visitors on the first Sunday of each month.

    Hours for each entrance. Note the Lion's Gate change. (We just walked over and entered. If it's closed; it's closed. Walk on to the Carrousel and use that entrance.)
    - Pyramid and Galerie du Carrousel entrances: open every day (except Tuesday) from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays; and from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays.
    - Passage Richelieu entrance: open every day (except Tuesday) from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays)
    - Porte des Lions entrance: this entrance may be closed for technical reasons. Please contact us the day before your visit at +33 (0)1 40 20 53 17.

    Address: Palais-Royal-Musée du Louvre station

    Directions: Between the rue di Rivoli and Quai Francois Mitterand on the Seine

    Phone: +33 (0)1 40 20 53 17

    Website: http://www.louvre.fr/en/hours-admission

    Half the long line to the Louvre Map of Louvre entrances Pei Pyramid at the Louvre Louvre from inside the Pei Pyramid Gallery in the Louvre
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    Bring your walking shoes

    by jlanza29 Updated Dec 3, 2014

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    I won't even start to tell you about this place, but be careful of pickpockets near the famous paintings such as the Mona Lisa, and the Greek scupltures.

    Come early come late..this place is always full, give yourself at least 2 days to see the entire thing.....enter from the underneath entrance on the Lourve stop of the train and save yourself the 3 hour wait from the main door.

    The world's largest musuem....so bring your walking shoes, patience, and energy !!!!!!!

    Address: 75001 Paris, dead smack center of Paris

    Website: http://www.louvre.fr

    Enter thru the metro station stop
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    Louvre: 35,000 works of art (1st)

    by Nemorino Updated Oct 24, 2014

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    Three of the major museums in Paris have divided up the History of Art among themselves. The Louvre, being the largest, is responsible for Art from the earliest times up to 1847. The Musée d'Orsay takes over for the remarkable sixty-six years from 1848 to 1914, and the Museum of Modern Art at the Centre Pompidou shows works from 1914 to the present -- though this is not a hard and fast rule, and there is inevitably some overlapping.

    I can think of one other city that has a similar division of epochs among its major museums, namely Munich, which has the Alte Pinakothek for European paintings from the 14th to 18th centuries, the Neue Pinakothek for the 19th century and the Pinakothek der Moderne for 20th and 21st century art.

    There are 35,000 works of art on display in the Louvre, so it's sort of like the internet -- you can't possibly see them all, so you have to navigate to see what you want, or take potluck. And don't let yourself be overwhelmed by the sheer masses of fantastic artworks! My first photo is from room 39 on the second floor of the Richelieu wing, showing Dutch masterpieces from the second half of the 17th century.

    Second photo: To enter the Louvre, most people wait in a long line at the Pyramid in the central courtyard, but it goes faster if you buy a Museum Pass or simply an advance admission ticket, both of which are available at the fnac stores or at the Civette du Carrousel in the Carrousel du Louvre. These allow you to enter the museum more quickly through the priority entrance, which is now also at the Pyramid (as of 2013), not in the Passage Richelieu where it used to be. When planning your visit, please remember that the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays.

    Third photo: Le Pont du Rialto (Rialto Bridge in Venice) by Antonio Canal, aka CANALETTO (1697- 1768), in hall C on the second floor of the Sully wing.

    Fourth photo: La nuit ; un port de mer au clair de lune (The night ; a seaport by moonlight), painted in 1771 by Joseph Vernet (1714-1789). On display in room 52 on the second floor of the Sully wing.

    Fifth photo: The Galerie d'Apollon (Gallery of Apollo) has recently been restored after three years of work funded by a corporate sponsor. It is in hall 66 on the first floor of the Denon wing.

    Related tips/reviews:
    Rubens and Marie de' Medici in the Louvre
    Ladies of the Louvre
    The medieval Louvre
    Egyptian antiquities at the Louvre
    Egyptian gods and temples in the Louvre
    The royal tomb
    The Seated Scribe
    Musée Charles X
    Carrousel du Louvre
    Louvre: Hall Napoléon
    Long lines at the Louvre (in the rain)
    People under the Pyramid at the Louvre
    Tapestries at the Louvre
    Claude Lorrain at the Louvre
    The Richelieu Wing of the Louvre

    Directions:
    Vélib' 1013, 1025
    Métro Palais-Royal-Musée du Louvre
    GPS 48°51'39.60" North; 2°20'8.85" East

    Phone: 01 40 20 51 77

    Website: http://www.louvre.fr/en

    1. In the Louvre 2. Pyramid at the Louvre 3. Rialto Bridge by Canaletto 4. Seaport at night by Vernet 5. Gallery of Apollo
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    Spectacular Mona Lisa!

    by Sienlu Updated Oct 1, 2014

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    The Mona Lisa (or in French La Joconde, or in Italian La Gioconda) was painted with oil by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci during approx the years 1503 to 1506, It is thought to be a portrait of Lisa Gheradini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo.
    It was at some point the property of Francis I of France but is now owned by the French Republic and is displayed in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

    Da Vinci started the painting in Florence, and he was invited by Kind Francois I and it is believed that he took it with him and finished it in France.

    It is not very big, 30 inch x 21 inch and its taking an entire wall in the Louvre, and is covered by a glass window. Very impressive painting.

    Address: Musée du Louvre, 75058 Paris

    Directions: Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre (lines 1 and 7)

    Phone: +33 (0)1 40 20 53 17

    Website: http://www.louvre.fr/en

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    Huge and Impressive

    by solopes Updated Jul 30, 2014

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    Once again I got no time (nor mood) to enter the Louvre. I still am one of the few that went several times to Paris without standing some seconds in front of that small picture of an ugly lady that someone decided to consider "THE" masterpiece.

    I didn't also have time to browse the thousands of other artworks, searching for the originals of the known reproductions that fill our memories. I only had time to admire the wonderful palace and gardens, where the flocks merge to enter.

    Maybe the Louvre is the center of the world. But, after visiting it, what will be the excuse to return to Paris again and again?

    I need to go back to Paris to see the Louvre, but I must confess that it frightens me - time is always short to Paris, and spending most of it to see what has already been seen in all kind of pictures, movies...

    Directions: Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre

    Louvre
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    The Louvre

    by IreneMcKay Written Jun 29, 2014

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    The Louvre is one of the most famous museums in the world and home to the Mona Lisa. Of course we did not go in, that queuing business again, but we enjoyed people watching at the fountains outside.

    The Louvre exhibits around 35,000 objects stretching from prehistory to the 21st century. It was initially built as a fortress and the original building dates from the late 12th century. Later it became the Louvre Palace and during the French Revolution it turned into the Louvre Museum.

    Since 2008 the Louvre collection has been divided into eight major areas: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings.

    Outside the Louvre Museum you can see the Louvre Pyramid. This is a large glass and metal pyramid, surrounded by three smaller pyramids. These date from 1989 and were designed by I M Pei. The large pyramid is the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. Not everyone was impressed by modern works of art being placed next to classical ones. Prince Charles described the pyramids as a monstrous carbuncle on the face of an old friend. Conspiracy theorists claim the number of glass panels making up the pyramid is 666 - the number of the beast in Revelations. Personally I did not count them so I cannot comment.

    Directions: Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre

    The Louvre The Louvre The Louvre
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    Ladies of the Louvre

    by Nemorino Updated Jun 10, 2014

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    Paintings by French neo-classical artist Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867) are on display both in the Louvre (in the Sully and Denon wings) and across the river in the Musée d'Orsay.

    This one from the year 1862 is called Le bain turc (The Turkish Bath) and is in the Louvre in room 60 on the second floor of the Sully wing.

    Second photo: Jeune fille en buste by Baron Pierre-Narcisse Guérin (1774-1833), in room 54 on the second floor of the Sully wing. Her short hair style, which wouldn't seem out of place in 21st century Paris, was known in the 19th as "à la Titus". It was inspired by Roman Antiquity and came into fashion in France during and after the French Revolution, in contrast to the elaborate hair styles of the Old Regime.

    Third photo: L'odalisque by François Boucher (1703-1770). The label by this painting speaks of "a delicious eroticism of the boudoir" and speculates that the model might have been the artist's wife. It goes on to say that "the immodest spectacle of the body abandoned in the disorder of the sheets confers a deliberately licentious character" to the painting. An odalisque turns out to be a female slave or concubine in a harem, especially in the harem of the sultan of Turkey.

    Fourth photo: Forget about the Mona Lisa, by the way. She is small and always beleaguered by hundreds of people. (Unless you are a fan of lining up just because everyone else does.)

    Directions:
    Vélib' 1013, 1025
    Métro Palais-Royal-Musée du Louvre
    GPS 48°51'39.60" North; 2°20'8.85" East

    Phone: 01 40 20 51 77

    1. Le bain turc by Ingres 2. Jeune fille en buste by Gu��rin 3. The Odalisque 4. Mona Lisa (La Joconde) and friends
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Comments (1)

  • Jan 12, 2014 at 6:36 AM

    Breughel's review describing her first visit to The Louvre in 1962 brought back memories of MY first visit to the city and the museum that same year. It was Easter weekend and there were no queues and just a few people (maybe 10) clustered around The Mona Lisa. A totally different experience from today's museum visitors.