Tuesday, November 22, 2011

the louvre

Our last day in Paris was spent in the Louvre - which is one of the largest museums in the world and the most visited art museum with over 8 million visitors a year.  It was established in 1793 and contains thousands of works of art displayed across the 652,300  square feet building.  You could probably spend weeks in there just to really see everything.

We only visited one or two sections of the museum and were exhausted from walking after a while.  We started in the morning with some coffee and lunch in the lower level of the museum.  It's full of places to shop and eat.  It was also the first place I saw that was decorated for the holidays so it put me in a festive mood.

One of the famous pyramids... many French people believe they are a "sore" on the face of France.  The Louvre is very old and beautiful.  Some people think the pyramids are too modern and ugly.

 They had a Starbucks!  I'm really not a frequent Starbucks customer in the U.S., but it was comfort food for me while we were there.  Plus, it's a lot colder over there and it warmed me right up.

 Brunch! (Michael is always hungry.)
 The bigger pyramid.
Our map... it's actually easy to get lost and disoriented.

This is the section with the pride of the Louvre, the Mona Lisa... as well as a ton of Renaissance pieces.

 The Nike of Samothrace - or "The Winged Victory".

It was made in 2nd century B.C. and is a marble sculpture of the Greek goddess named Nike which translates to "victory".  I think that could be the origin of my name because Nicole means "victory of the people".  The sculpture has been displayed in the Louvre since 1884 and is one of the most celebrated sculptures in the world.

 The Mona Lisa... surrounded by tourists.

There are some HUGE paintings in the Louvre, but the Mona Lisa is quite small.  Leonardo da Vinci painted this in the 1500's.  It's on permanent display in the Louvre and is one of its most prized works of art - because it's the most famous painting in the world.  In 1911, the painting was stolen from the Louvre and thought to be lost forever until they discovered two years later that an employee had snuck it out.  There have been several attempts to vandalize the painting in the past.  It's now protected with bullet proof glass inside a climate controlled case.

 One of the many paintings...

 I think this is Jacob stealing Esau's birthright.
 View out of the window.

This painting was Michael's favorite.  It tells the story of the crucifixion.

 I was excited to see these because they've been shown to me in art class!

 This is the Egyptian section.

 A sphinx.

 Getting a little goofy... losing our attention spans.
 I know... very mature.

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