The Louvre

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We got a late start friday – Aviva went to a Sennelier store (they make and sell excellent pastels – I bought a box of them when I went to Cannes) while I went to a local cybercafe to email Gary Silverman, one of my colleagues at work. We took the subway, with a transfer, to the Louvre.

We went here twice for half-days – I highly suggest this kind of strategy, as the place is just too large to do in one day (and you get too burned out on the fantastic art on the walls). Here is a link to the official Louvre web site in English. The Louvre is divided into three main sections with three floors in each section. The sections are named after famous French men – Denon, Sully and Richelieu. You enter through the famous pyramid built by I. M. Pei

The Louve entry area is full of wonderful shops, especially in the area you must pass through if you arrive by subway (make sure to get off the train at the ? stop so you can walk though the underground shopping area). We were very lucky to be visiting in December – it can get really busy at the Louvre during tourist season.


This is the entry area for the Louvre under the Pyramid

This is the entry area for the Louvre under the Pyramid

On our first trip we did the medieval Louvre first – this is in the Sully section. The Louvre was originally a castle built by Philippe Auguste (1190). The short trip through some of the original walls and rooms is interesting but not spectacular.

However, we then proceeded to the Denon section for the Italian painting. The small English section on the way into Denon has a nice Tintoreto self portrait and a Turner. The Italian section was amazing. There is a whole room of Sienese paintings and three Botticelli frescoes. I saw the most amazing Da Vinci, “Portrait of a Lady of the Milanese Court,” which I found simply stunning. I thought the positioning of the figure, the look in the eyes as they cast their glance towards the spectator, is far superior to the “Mona Lisa” located further down the galleries. Since we went in December, we could get right up in front of all the artwork, which helped a great deal.

A Portrait of a Lady of the Milanese Court by Leonardo Da Vinci,  oil on wood, circa 1485 - 1495

A Portrait of a Lady of the Milanese Court by Leonardo Da Vinci, oil on wood, circa 1485 - 1495

We had fast-food quiche at Paul in the underground complex (I guess real programmers do eat quiche) and then shopped a bit. Everyone has been very nice. We used our three day museum pass to gain entry.

After our 4 hours walking through the Louvre, we met a nice family from Houston while drinking Coke Lite at one of the cafes in the museum. We shopped a bit more in the underground (I got a print of Napoleon 1 saying goodbye to his guard at Fontainbleu and a strange print we found in the same store that we both liked). We walked around in the cold drizzle, finding a small shop that sells carnivále costumes. We ate at Les Editeurs Cafe restaurant. My feet already hurt, but its okay – its fun too be away from the real world for a while.

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  1. ProtectColorados
    10:44 pm on April 29th, 2010

    Thanks for the great post! You have a new fan.

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    8:17 am on April 30th, 2010

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  3. Imran Anwar
    8:05 pm on June 1st, 2010

    I love Paris. My first trip was in 1987 and the next one nearly 20 years later and I loved it both times. Can’t wait to go back. I tweeted you this link of the Louvre. And, I MISS the fine fine cuisine I savored in Paris.


  4. Paris and the Louvre | Aleph Naught & the Null Set
    6:55 am on December 10th, 2011

    […] first stop of our daily tour. We went to the Louvre the last time we were in Paris as well – click here to see that page.The Louvre is very large, divided into three major galleries (Denon, Sully and Richeleu, three […]

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