The Louvre. In all its glory...and all its absurdity. I had my heart set on seeing the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo, like every other Tom, Dick, and Harry, when in Paris. I couldn't have foreseen the amount of craziness taking place underneath that glass pyramid and within those concrete walls. People go nuts for some famous art. Seriously. They will take you out if you get in their way. There are no such things as lines or politeness in a place like this. You have to go in knowing that you will be dealing with the masses. Our plan was as follows: put your game face on, see what everyone comes to see, and then get out, regroup, fuel, and re-enter if we dare.
We took a deep breath and entered. Once we got our tickets and picked up a map, we headed straight for Mona. To get to her you have to walk through a number of other hallways all filled to the brim with paintings upon paintings. This was my first taste of what the Louvre really is -- more art than any one person can absorb in a lifetime.
The Louvre is no joke. Wall space is limited to say the least. Paintings literally seemed to be on top of one another. We must have been overwhelmed by the amount of art on the walls or by the crowds of people, take your pick, that we walked right past the room Mona lives in, Salle 6.
There she is. Yep, that is her. Little, ole Mona. Are you thinking what I am thinking? Really? That's it. I mean, good painting, but why all the built up drama of the MONA LISA? Now, I don't speak for Josh here, but I think he is in the same boat as me. Josh was actually more infatuated with the massive picture on the opposite wall in Salle 6.
We lasted about two minutes and then took off for the next must-see, Venus de Milo. Again through the crowded halls we walked.
And, BAM...Venus and her crowd. These couple areas truly felt like we were in a zoo. People rushing to get closest to the painting or statue. A million flashes going off around you when no flash photography is allowed. It was like everyone was on a photo scavenger hunt and were racing to be the first one's done. All a little overwhelming for me.
I decided to hide out in a corner for a bit. Take in her beauty from a far and get the best picture of them all. Who ever sees the backside of Venus? Again, my lame sense of humor.
Done and done. Mona and Venus. And, that only took us an hour or two. We packed it in and headed out to find a quick bite to eat and to regroup after the frenzy. After this needed break, we found a secret entrance for anyone who already has a ticket. Sweet. No line for us. Once we got back to the crowded center, we set off in a new direction. Away from the mob, away from the craziness.
Josh has this sort of luck that follows him. Whenever he just wanders aimlessly, we seem to stumble upon the best parts of wherever we are at. Somehow, through this maze of a museum, we end up at Napoleon's Apartment. This was a total surprise to me. I have never heard anyone even mention this area of the Louvre.
You've heard of "little man's complex", right? We sat down on a bench to just take this site in. Unreal. Who sleeps in a bed like that? How much gold does one man need?
Dinner for 40, anyone?
For some reason I feel like Donald Trump and Napoloen would have hit it off. Diamond-encrusted this, gold upon gold of that. It was awesome. But, after all of this sparkle and glimmer, my favorite part of the Louvre was still this random picture I caught glimpse of when walking through a side room off of the crowded halls.
Le Singe Peintre by Alexander-Gabriel Decamps. What do you think the artist is trying to get across in this piece of work? That any monkey can be an artist? I love when you find those hidden gems in a congested madhouse.
I still feel like I was part of the Griswald family in "European Vacaction" wondering the halls of the Louvre trying to squeeze in as much art as possible in only a days time. I am looking forward to my second trip when I can steer clear of the crowds and really get to focus on why you come to the Louvre in the first place.