Weren’t the sculptures amazing??? The most beautiful part of the the Louvre (that we saw) was the paintings. Some were quite small and some were so large it was hard to take in the actual scale. As we got further into the tour, it got more and more crowded. There were warnings everywhere about pick-pockets and to keep our bags in front of us, not behind. It was odd to see backpacks being worn on people’s chests instead of backs, but now I know why. Even though there were wall-to-wall people in some sections, it didn’t take away from the awe I felt in seeing these masterpieces.
The Louvre Museum was founded on the 16th of September in 1792 by decree of the legislative assembly. The Galerie d’Apollon is one of the most amazing rooms I’ve ever been in… you ready?
Entering the Gallery
Get ready to hold your breath. Grandeur at its finest. Look at all the smart phones. People use these much more than real cameras these days.
The Best Ceiling of All
Pow. No words. Literally took my breath away!
I told you it would take your breath away, didn’t I? Honoré, Jessica, and John are in the lower left central part of the frame. Curtis is behind me. I’m just standing there, awe-struck.
Inside one of the glass cases are jewel-encrusted crowns that were worn by kings and queens. Aren’t they beautiful? So intricate and delicate and imposing at the same time.
The top of the walls were lined with the zodiac signs. Of course, I had to find mine. Yeah, baby… I’m a Leo.
The paintings morph into marble seamlessly. The Gods oversee all. The beauty of it all astounds.
Fra Angelico Fresco
After walking through the Galerie d’Apollon, we entered the Italian painters part of the museum. This fresco of the crucification of Jesus was painted by Fra Angelico in the early 1400s. Think about that for a moment… it’s over 600 years old.
The Mona Lisa Room
So here we are, arriving at the third major work on our tour. This is known as the Mona Lisa room and it was packed. I don’t know if you can see her in this image, but she is located on the back wall all by herself. Yes, the painting is very small! I was surprised too.
The Most Famous Smile in the World
Here she is, the Mona Lisa. She is encased in glass, behind a big railing. The tourists were packed so tightly in, everyone taking selfies in front of her, that Curtis had to go first with me hanging onto his belt in order to get me to the front of the line. I have severe sensory issues with crowds and literally had my shoulders hunched up by my ears trying desperately to not get touched. Imagine my disappointment once I got my shot, it’s just meh. Between the crowds, the railing, and the glass enclosure, there’s glare, reflection, and distortion to deal with. It’s true though that her eyes follow you around the room.
The Wedding at Cana
But all the jostling and getting squished was worth it… because on the opposite wall from the Mona Lisa is this gigantic painting. It’s called the Wedding at Cana, painted by Paolo Veronese in the 1500s. One interesting piece of trivia about this painting is that the painter put Jesus in the center wearing pink, then added himself below also wearing pink. No one else is wearing pink.
I waited and waited and waited… the crowd was so thick… but then this magic happened. One lone tourist in the lower right corner gives a sense of perspective. This is one of my top five favorite photos from my whole trip.
Another Ceiling Focal Point
On our way to the fourth major piece and to the French paintings, we passed through the gift shop. Yep, this is the ceiling of the gift shop. Holy moly.
The Coronation of Napoleon
And finally… famous work number four, The Coronation of Napoleon painted by Jacques-Louis David in the early 1800s. It is a beautiful painting, another quite large piece, with a bunch of tourists all around. I couldn’t quite get the entire painting in frame but you can still tell how lovely it is. Our tour finished up shortly after this. What an amazing morning.
After our tour finished at the Louvre, we caught a taxi to go over to Notre Dame. As we drove by the front of the museum, I realized I hadn’t gotten a shot of the front of the museum or the pyramid, so I quickly snapped this from inside our moving taxi. D’oh!
Street Corner, Taxi View
One of the beautiful street corners in Paris. We were heading to Notre Dame and got stopped at a red light over the River Seine.
Cute Lunch Date
Before going into Notre Dame, Curtis and I decided to have a quick bite of lunch at a little cafe next to the church. It was quintessential Paris. The food wasn’t great but the ambiance and the staff were a hoot. Again, doesn’t my hubby look so happy? I’ve never seen him this relaxed. I swear he looks 10 years younger.
Oh my gosh, our waiter was so adorable. This is him through the window of the cafe once he realized I left him a tip (tips are not customary since they are built into the fee structure). He actually came outside to give me a hug! I told him he was adorable and should be in the movies. He noticed a group of nuns with some children getting crepes outside, then he told me to wait, and he ran back inside. He came out and said, “I can walk on water, want to see?” “Of course!” I responded. He then poured a bottle of water on the road (right in front of the nuns!), then danced all over the water. Oh.Em.Gee!
Perfecting His Acting Skills
I told him he should definitely be in movies and he said that’s not the first time he had heard that. After his walking on water scene, he then said he had one more acting scene to show me… could I guess who he was? Again, in front of the nuns. I was both embarrassed and amused. He was something else!
Before going into Notre Dame, I got this great shot of Curtis on the bridge. We were having the best time of our lives and we had never been happier. It was such an amazing weekend. Notre Dame is coming up in the next post and it was our favorite part of the whole trip.
Practicing on the Street
After I got that shot of Curtis, I turned around and saw these guys on the bench, one practicing his guitar and the other cheering him on. They didn’t want money, they weren’t performing, they were just making music. Paris inspires art in all forms. <3
Hasn’t this been the most remarkable experience so far??? But just wait… next up is Notre Dame. Hands down, my favorite! Thanks for looking!!!