An extremely large museum you are bound to get lost in…
The Louvre is perhaps the most famous museum in the world, housing an astonishing amount of priceless art. We arrived at the Louvre on a friday night and were immediately greeted with the breathtaking sight of the palace and the glass pyramid. I’d strongly recommend going to the museum at this time of day as there was no line at all to get into this Paris icon.
First things first: you will get lost. I was a practised navigator with a map in hand by the time I got to the museum and I still managed to get lost when inside. It is hard to describe the enormity of the palace complex but by the time you have made three wrong turns to the left and lost the staircase entirely you will understand. It’s also important to wear comfortable shoes as there is a fair amount of walking involved and if you are going to be strapped for time make a rough plan of what you want to see before you go inside.
With a two hour time limit we made a plan of what we could cover. Of course her majesty the Mona Lisa was the first on our list. She is definitely something you have to see but be mindful the artwork is rather well protected behind a glass case. No need for a map to get to the famous lady as there are many signs you can follow to find her but remember the portrait is named ‘La Joconde’ not the Mona Lisa in the museum. If you manage to squeeze through to the front of the crowd you can take in a better view of the world-famous piece but patience is key so wait your turn.
From there we backtracked to stop and appreciate both ‘Liberty Leading the People’ and ‘The Raft of the Medusa’. I was lucky that these two pieces were so close to each other as they were the two artworks I wanted to see the most. You are welcome to take photos in the museum as long as you don’t use a flash. That being said, it diminishes your experience of a masterpiece if you send all your time waiting for people to move in order to get that perfect shot instead of just admiring the work.
The ‘Winged Victory of Samothrace’ is conveniently located on a staircase in clear view for all who come to admire it. It is breathtaking to take in this marble sculpture taking in all the intricate details in the work. We then went on to look at more sculpture work, namely the Venus de Milo.
The ‘Venus de Milo’ is an ancient Greek sculpture work supposedly depicting the Goddess Aphrodite. The work is on permanent display at the Louvre amongst a series of other Greek sculpture work. From here is where we got very lost.
I can’t even remember what we were looking for by that point. After a day of travelling and still without dinner we were hungry and tired wanderers who were starting to lose focus. By this point we ended up in a tapestry section of the museum, floating in and out of rooms filled with expensive china sets and tapestry walls. It was all wonderful artworks but I couldn’t ignore the reality that my focus was slipping by this point as my mind drifted to where the exits might be. Eventually however, we made it back to the entrance and out of the museum.
The Louvre is a museum that cannot possibly completed in a week let alone a day. Because of this it is important to research what you want to see if you have a particular interest before visiting the museum. If you do not have particulars in mind, pick a wing and go from there. The museum is filled with thousands of pieces that would take months to properly view. Regardless, it is a tourist must when visiting Paris and a way to better understand world culture through art.