Part 1, the Louvre…What can we say?…It was all we’d imagined and more…

Purse free, with empty pockets, it felt great not to be bulked up when Tom carried our cloth bag with the few items we needed.  I was standing behind the entrance gate to the Louvre.

Having appreciated fine art, I’d never taken the time to become knowledgeable learning different works of art, their history and their artists.  For some of us learning about art becomes a passion, for some its becomes a passing fancy from time to time and for some, they never give fine art a thought.

On our way to the Louvre we drove through the tunnel where Princess Diana was killed in August 31, 1997.

The entrance to the Louvre with the Grand Roue de Paris Ferris wheel in the background.

I guess I fall into the middle category loving art from time to time, with Tom never giving fine art a thought. We all have our own interests which adds to the uniqueness of the individual. 

We were grateful for our “avoid the lines” tickets where we were able to enter in a matter of a minutes as opposed to waiting in line for what could have been hours.

There were many ways one can make their way through the enormous museum.

Not having any interest in fine art doesn’t make a person less intelligent or worldly. Our brains are wired differently. Tom’s total lack of interest didn’t concern me a bit when he’d kindly agreed to visit Le Louvre and other museums with me in Paris. He never complained continually making certain that I didn’t miss a thing.

The vast size of the Louvre is difficult to fathom.

It took a few moments for Tom to figure out where we were to enter to avoid the line.  In minutes we were on our way and indeed had no wait at all.

He was not only “the pack mule” as he often refers to himself, carrying the cloth bag with incidentals; bottled water, maps and an extra camera, leaving my hands totally free to take photos, he also was, as always, my personal navigator. 

This was the first area we encountered upon entering the building.

The glass pyramid is a cover over the entrance area.

We hardly missed a room in the massive 652,300 square feet, 60,600 square meters, other than a few rooms we entered immediately exiting, that held little appeal for either of us.

We entered the Louis XIV and Louis XVI areas.  The crowds were just beginning to accumulate.

These rooms are a part of the Louis XIV area.  As is the case in Versailles, the ceilings are often as interesting as the walls and paintings.

With 35,000 objects in the museum, its not possible to stop to look at each item.  That would take days if not months to accomplish.  However, we’d walk one side of a room perusing everything to our right and then double back to the opposite side when the configuration of the room allowed this plan. 

We chose to stop and enjoy the paintings that appealed to us.

On several of the paintings, we weren’t able to get close enough to get a straight
shot with no alternative but to take photos from the side.

We’d stop and look at the items that caught our eye, both of us often attracted to the same items.  When possible we took photos.  Although at certain items the huge crowds made it impossible to find a spot for a good photo, especially at the Mona Lisa where there were literally hundreds of people with cameras raised into the air attempting to get a shot. 

The Mona Lisa, encased in thick glass with lots of heads and cameras in the way of taking photos. It was challenging if not impossible to manage a good photo through the glass nor through the crowd.  We chose not to wait for a better opening.

Taken from an angle, this was the best I could do.  Tom was steering me from behind to move me forward into the crowd but I quickly tired of that tactic and cleared the crowd in order to move along.

Honestly, I wasn’t frustrated by my lack of ability to get a good photo.  Encased in thick bullet proof glass the glare was unavoidable with my camera and getting a straight-on shot was impossible unless one was willing to wait to squeeze into a good spot.

The ceilings continued to be breathtaking throughout the museum.

We wondered if there will be art from our era that will hold such interest to the public in centuries to come.

Let’s face it.  Most people know what the Mona Lisa looks like.  As art appreciation neophytes, we simply wandered around in Tom’s methodical manner choosing to look at and take photos of items that both appealed to us and were less crowded.  Most people have already seen the most popular items.  The more obscure appealed to us the most.

Romantic art.

Religion and angels are a common theme through art in most countries.

An important point to mention is that it wasn’t possible for us to maintain a record of every item in our photos as to the dates, the artist, etc.  Most often, it wasn’t possible to include the description of the item along with the item itself when the little signs were often anywhere from a foot to three feet away (one meter). 

Whimsical art.

Looking out a window to a balcony with statues.

Taking photos of those descriptions would have resulted in days of editing to ensure we matched up the correct descriptions with the correct items.  As it was, the hundreds of photos we took required most of the day yesterday for me to sort, crop and review.

Many of the works of art depicted rulers of varying importance.

Art of spiritual significance. is predominant in many paintings.

As a result, we are not including captions with names of the photos, the dates and the artists in the majority of the photos we’re posting today and tomorrow in Parts 1 and 2 of the Louvre.  There are a few websites that contain partial catalogs of the Louvre. 

Many works of art bespeak musical themes.

A portrait of a woman of notoriety or a beloved woman or both.

But, honestly, we don’t have that kind of time to match the items to the descriptions when we’re busy each day sightseeing, posting and handling the over 1000 photos we’ll have taken in Paris.

A portrait of a leader or person of significance.

Femininity of the era by Leonard de Vinci.

This sign is next to the above portrait.

If you see a particular piece in our photos on which you’d like more information, please click this link for thousands of photos of items located in the Louvre.  Of course, if you have any questions or input, please feel free to comment at the end of any post for a fast response, usually within 12 hours.

We moved from painting to other artwork of many eras and countries.

The long view through multiple rooms is lovely.

Yesterday morning, we took a taxi both ways to the Louvre when there was no easy means of arriving there by bus or metro.  The cost for the taxi was US $16.23, EU $12.10 on the way to the Louvre and oddly, US $ 13.41, EU $10 on the return drive.  Admission to the Louvre is US $16.09, EU $12 for a full day pass.

We were also attracted to the smaller pieces.

Figurines. Notice the dates.

How long did we stay?  We entered at 9:30 and left at 2:30 when the camera’s battery was almost dead. Soon we’ll purchase a new camera purchasing extra batteries.  Constantly checking on the remaining battery is annoying.

Not only are the artifacts amazing but, the rooms into which they are housed are equally amazing.

There are exquisite statues throughout the museum.

Certainly, no amount of time in a single day would be sufficient but, after the five hours, we felt we’d done all we could do having seen every floor and almost every room as mentioned above.

The Egyptian art was of particular interest to us.

There is an endless array of Egyptian artifacts.

Did we enjoy it?  Very much.  Luckily, with our decision to see many of the less popular items instead searching for those that appealed to our taste, at times, we were alone in a room or with only a half dozen people. 

Stunning artwork.

The cat is a revered creature in some area in the Middle East in both Egypt and which we observed in Morocco.

Visiting the Louvre under our own terms pleased us when we were able to appreciate those treasures that perhaps others may have found less enticing. 

Perhaps a mummy was in this sarcophagus at one time.

More colorful art on the ceiling.

After all, aren’t we the couple who doesn’t necessary live the lifestyle commensurate with most of the modern world’s population: homeless, no stuff, wandering about the world indefinitely?

Gold Egyptian figurines.

Sign posted under gold figurines as shown above.

Most of all, I’m grateful for Tom’s willingness to let me live yet another dream of seeing Paris; the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, the Arc de Triomphe, the River Seine, Notre Dame (today) and many more points of interest we’ve mentioned or are yet to mention as we roll into our second week. 

Colorful Egyptian art.

Small Egyptian artifacts.

Add the fine dining which we hope to continue to experience, the nice French boutique hotel, walking distance to the Eiffel Tower and much more and I couldn’t be happier with our visit to Paris so far.

Egyptian pottery. Several rooms are filled with pottery which didn’t appeal to us.

This piece is approximately one foot tall, .3 meters.

As I write this, its Sunday afternoon, August 10th, hoping to be done by dinnertime. I’m writing Monday’s post in advance since we’ll be gone all day Monday, posting it in the morning before we head out.  I’m sitting at a tiny bistro table in the lobby of our hotel where I’ve been working on my computer for the past six hours writing both Sunday and Monday’s posts. 

This Egyptian piece is well preserved.

One can only wonder as to significance of these artifacts when they were created.

Tom’s comfortably ensconced in the corner of a relatively comfortable sofa, listening to his favorite radio show from Minnesota, Garage Logic, content as he could be.  It’s raining again which inspired us to spend Sunday indoors getting these two posts completed. 

Modern art in an ancient era?

The last of the Egyptian art rooms.

Don’t get me wrong, we love posting here.  Tom is usually busy helping me with research, facts and figures while I busily type to my heart’s content.  And indeed, it is truly is to my heart’s content.  In essence, that’s why we do this.  Because, we want to.

Napoleon III room.

More Napoleon III room.

Tomorrow, we’ll be back with Part 2 of the Louvre.  Wednesday and Thursday, we’ll present our visit to Notre Dame with many photos.  On Friday, we’ll post photos we’ve yet to share, review our hotel with pricing, (plus our total expenditures for the 16 nights in Paris), the quality of services and amenities and Saturday, dear readers, we’re off to London.

Note the dates on these figurines.

Have a wonderful Monday for those of our readers who continue to get up and go to work every Monday.  And for those who are basically retired, as we are, who cares what day of the week it is?  We hope to see you tomorrow for Part 2, the Louvre!

Photo from one year ago today, August 11, 2013:

This was the exit from the yard of the 300 year old stone house in Boveglio, Italy.  A year ago on this date, we realized that in only 20 days we’d be leaving Tuscany, Italy for Diani Beach, Kenya.  Its hard to believe that was a year ago, when at that point, we hadn’t yet decided to come to Paris to fill a gap in our itinerary. For details of that date, please click here.

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