Thursday, March 1, 2012

Statuary at the Louvre - A Study in Stone

Paris, France

Inner Courtyard and Entrance to the Louvre by DG Hudson

If you've never been to the Louvre Museum in Paris, this photo study will give you a peek inside at some of the works on display when we visited in Autumn 2010.  Known for acquiring a broad range of art works, the Louvre's collection encompasses paintings, artifacts and statuary. 

Antiquities, Louvre Museum, Paris, photo by DG Hudson

The Louvre Museum is welcoming, allowing the visitor room to walk, sit or browse, (after you buy your ticket).  All exhibits are well organized and many of the statuary are placed to allow viewing up close.  This museum is huge and requires lots of walking, up stairs, down stairs and around the corners.  Different wings of the building are dedicated to specific time periods or various civilizations. 

Below is a corner of the ceiling enhanced with gilding, painted images and deep windows.

Ceiling detail Louvre Museum, Paris by DG Hudson

Don't miss the floors in this beautiful gallery.  A palace first, the Louvre was built to house a king and the details of its structure attest to its past.  Murals cover the walls at the top of the a stairway, and a huge Sphinx sits in a corridor, just waiting to be admired. 

Original Palace Foundations of the Louvre -Photo by DG Hudson

Don't miss the basement of the Louvre where the foundations of the original palace can be seen.  They give a hint of the age of the building, while the model shows the medieval design. 

Model of early Louvre Palace, photo by DG Hudson

Below is one of the must-see statues at the Louvre, Winged Victory; I've cropped out all the visitors who were at its feet, but there were many admiring this sculpture.

The Nike of Samothrace, or Winged Victory c.190 BC - photo by DG Hudson

The woodwork and design of the ceiling in some of the gallery halls, the multilayering of marble on the statues, and the detail on some of the columns make it difficult to know where to look first.  It's definitely a feast for the eyes and the camera.

Near the entrance to the Louvre Antiquities, by DG Hudson

Statues of different sizes, and of different cultures are displayed in a very satisfying manner for the viewer.  Exhibits can vary as to how noisy or crowded they might be, as the tour guides lead their groups through.  There are quiet exhibits with students sitting and drawing the statues or studying the paintings.  It's nice to see that art students are still sent to the galleries to study the masters.

In Main Gallery, A man rests, by DG Hudson

The sunlight made a play of light and shadow on these ladies.  Hairdos don't seem to have really changed that much.

Statuary with hair and dress details, Louvre, Paris by DG Hudson

Some exhibits encompass an entire room, with artifacts of the same time period,  like a room in an old castle.  Note the floor in the photo below and the mantel to the right.

Antiquities, Louvre Museum, Paris by DG Hudson

Another partial sculpture below is slightly larger than life size.  The statue is carved with such finesse that the headdress seems touchable.  It's tucked into a niche in one of the main galleries.

Antiquities at the Louvre, Paris by DG Hudson

Walk slowly through this museum or you'll miss something.  Look up, then down, at the walls and along the aisles.  Art is literally everywhere in this unique gallery.  For more details, check

Louvre Museum Home Page  

The Louvre Museum

How about you?  Do you go to museum/galleries to see art or natural history, flight museums, car museums? 

Please share in the comments if you know of unique or interesting museums that you've seen.