Le Louvre. (And Le Deux Magots.)

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Apologies for the blurred photo. I was running for shelter.

Today as supposed to be Versailles, but we woke to torrential rain. Thankfully, the itinerary that Scott devised is flexible, so we swapped Versailles for Le Louvre, which is of course indoors.

Hot tip: get a Museum Pass. We passed by this line in front of the Pyramid out in the rain. It was long. Next, we went indoors around the corner and the line was also quite long.

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But people with Museum passes? We had 8 people in front of us. 🙂

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We weren’t out to wander through the Louvre taking 6 months to see it all. We had our major pieces we wanted to see, plus a few odds and sods. This was first on the agenda. Clearly, we weren’t the only ones.

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‘Winged Victory’.

After that we hot-footed it to the Mona Lisa.

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Lucky we got there early in the morning before too many other people were there…

I thought it would take me ages to get to the front. Because the front is where I was going to get… I always manage to do this.

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It took me 2 minutes. I was like a sinuous ninja. (But always keeping an eye on my bag in case of gypsies, pickpockets and thieves.)

My impressions? She was bigger than I thought she’d be. Someone told me she was the size of a tea towel; she’s more like a small tablecloth. I wondered why she was so important to Leonardo da Vinci that he always had her near him. Her hands… loved her hands.

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I switched my phone’s settings to take a selfie and a nice American woman asked if I’d like her to take my photo instead. I reflected that she couldn’t very well take my phone and run away, considering the crush of people behind us, so I said yes. Aren’t people nice?

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This is me saying goodbye.

Then we were off to see the major pieces. Fortunately Scott can read a map. Otherwise, if we were relying on me we’d still be in there.

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‘The Raft of the Medusa’. They’ve been on here a while… there’s a bit of mayhem and cannibalism going on.

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‘Liberty having a wardrobe malfunction’.

This isn’t the official name, but really???

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Joan of Arc. I’m fond of her. She wasn’t on the official list though. We powered on through.

But with reverence and appreciation towards all the Art, Truth and Beauty around us, of course…

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Look up!!!!

The Louvre was originally a palace for the French Kings, before they renovated and went out to Versailles. When you think about how all of this architecture, and a lot of the contents, were only to gratify the Kings and nobles, it’s incredible how much wealth and power they evidently had.

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Look down! Look at the marble in the floors. After being in Rome I notice such things.

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Michelangelo – The Dying Slave. (Bit hard on hm to die while he’s standing up…)

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Cute chubby baby in a glass case – Bonanni 1680.

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It was only when we got home and I looked at this photo that I realised Scott had RUINED it.

Corradini – Femme voilĂ©e … (or veiled female.)

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I saw this at the side of the room and loved it. Then I read this:

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What scorpion? Then I moved and saw this:

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That could get very nasty. Just saying…

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Being a Drama teacher, this was very exciting. One of the muses holding a tragedy mask. I don’t know who this woman lounging in front of the muse is. Some tourist or other.

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Then we were back on track. The Venus de Milo.

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Just to prove I was really here.

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I liked the drapery and the attitude of this one.

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Alexander the Great. Done in his lifetime c350BC.

Now let’s get all philosophical.

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Plato.

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Aristotle. You can still see traces of the original colouring.

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Socrates.

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Look at Aphrodite, the saucy minx. Put a 1920’s flapper-style dress on her and she would’ve fitted right in.

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Look at the detail on this sarcophagus. IMG_5908

I felt a bit sorry for their previous inhabitants. This is almost certainly not the afterlife they had in mind.

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Back onto the hunt for the significant pieces!!

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‘The Sitting Scribe.”

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Pretty old, hey?

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I was pretty impressed by this. I was just walking past a glass case and it caught my eye.

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Look at the detail!

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Remember when I talked about Henri IV of France and his assassination and the beheading of his corpse during the French revolution? Here he is before his head went missing and before he was killed. He’s playing the part of Hercules and looking very jolly.

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Henri II.

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Catherine de Medici.

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Diane de Poitiers. She was Henri II’s mistress since he was 16 until his death. She was considerably older. Catherine de Medici, Henri’s wife, was completely overshadowed until his untimely death, when she ruled France through her children. I read the Catherine de Medici trilogy by Jean Plaidy when I was a teenager. It was exciting to see what they looked like.

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Back onto the hunt for the significant pieces! Here’s one.

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Here’s another. This one really tells a story. The Cheat with the Ace of Diamonds.

This next bit really knocked my socks off. Napolean III had his residence in the Louvre and his apartments have been preserved. When I walked into the Grand Salon my eyeballs nearly fell out of my head.

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I’ve never seen so much magnificence (and gilding) in all my life.

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It was totally over the top. I was expecting something like this in Versailles but this took me totally by surprise.

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See?

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After that shock I needed a coffee to compose myself. It’s been an ambition of Scott’s  to have a coffee in the famous coffee houses that the artists and intellectuals used to go to…. The Deux Magots and CafĂ© de Flore.

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We chose the first and had coffee and cake, sitting right on the street of the Boulevard Saint-Germain.

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Here’s what it looks like inside.

Then it was off to the Catacombs!

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However, when we got there after a long metro ride, the queue for it went right round the block, almost to the front of the building. It would have taken 2 hours to get in. I don’t know about Scott, but my feet were hurting and I was very pleased when he suggested we go back to the apartment and have an easy afternoon and evening.

I still want to go back and see it, but if we try again we’ll go first thing in the morning. There’s no way we want to deal with a queue like that!

Though, tomorrow is Versailles day. I’m betting we’ll just have to deal with the queue no matter what time of the day we get there. Pray for sun!!

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Responses to Le Louvre. (And Le Deux Magots.)

  1. Michelle says:

    Feel like I have just run through the Louvre with you – exhausting! Aren’t Napoleon III’s apartments mind blowing? Glad you got to Les Deux Margot and Cafe de Flore – Simone De Beauvoir’s writing place.

  2. Lucinda Sans says:

    Ahhhh! It’s a Friday afternoon in suburban Sydney and you have me dreaming of more urbane, sophisticated environs.

  3. Kelley says:

    loved this post. Especially your reaction to Napoleon’s residence. 🙂

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