Before you start reading this post, I want to start out by saying that I am NOT at all interested in art or art history. So you may be wondering why I would even bother visiting the Louvre Art Museum in Paris? Well, I think the simple answer to this is that it is ‘the Louvre’ – need I say anymore!! If you are ever going to visit a museum to experience the works of historical artists such as Da Vinci et al, then the Louvre is probably ‘the’ museum you will want to see.
The Louvre is an amazing piece of architectural mastery in itself and that is even before you enter the doors of the Pyramid to gain access to historical masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa. The exterior of the Louvre is extremely impressive and you can spend some time just wandering around the grounds and looking in awe at the architecture that has gone into the design of not only the museum but also Napoleon’s former residence on that wing.
Once you enter inside the pyramid and descend into the basement to purchase your tickets, you begin to realize the scope and magnitude of the Louvre’s size. I can honestly say that I never thought I would spend over 3 hours in a art museum but that is the reality of what we did as we tried to see as much of the Louvre as possible.
There are three wings inside the Louvre, all of which contain very different pieces of art ranging from Egyptian and Greek sculptures to those infamous paintings:
- the Richelieu (after Armand Richelieu, 17th Century French statesman, cardinal and monarchist)
- the Sully (after Maximilien Sully, 17th Century French statesman)
- the Denon (after Dominique Denon, 18th Century French illustrator, scientist and author).
There were many aspects of the museum that I have to openly admit I was a little bored with, probably because of my lack of knowledge and appreciation of these works of art.
However, I did enjoy seeing the Mona Lisa or ‘La Joconde’ in person and I was very surprised by the size of the painting. I was expecting something more substantial but just being in the same room as the most famous painting in the world is a pretty good feeling. Added to this the security in that room and the fact that this was the only painting behind what I figured was bulletproof glass.
The final wing we visited was the former residence of Napoleon. The majestic décor throughout of all the rooms was clearly visible but I think the most interesting room was his bedroom which housed a bed that appeared to be not much more than 5ft in length, chairs lined up to the left of the bed which were likely for his security, and an abundance of grandeur scattered on the walls and mantelpiece.
I am not going to go into details of everything you can see in the Louvre Museum; rather I would encourage you to experience this for yourself. Admission prices are certainly reasonable because you can easily spend at least half a day in the museum and probably miss several areas.
Do you enjoy visiting art museums?
Have you visited the Louvre and if so, what are your opinions (positive/negative)?