Tuesday, September 2, 2014

PARIS - Unique Galleries at the Louvre

 In a building that started life as a palace, much of the grandeur remains, making it a perfect place to showcase art.


A Louvre Gallery with overhanging Balcony by DG Hudson


In the old days (1800s), artists crowded the Louvre galleries to study art. They brought their easels and were observed by the visitors along with the masterpieces they studied. This is a long tradition in art schools and art studios. Go and study the masters, students are told. Students can still be seen performing this ritual.


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Watch for the Crowds

One reason not to see the Louvre Museum in a large tour group is shown below. You can't get close enough to appreciate the art or get photographs. These crowds of anywhere from 25-50 clog the space around the art. We waited until the throngs passed on, and fortunately, the Louvre isn't as crowded in late September. There are maps, so you can't get lost. Discovering the Louvre and its treasures can be an adventure.

Winged Victory, the Nike of Samothrace, Louvre Museum, Paris by DG Hudson


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Esthetically Pleasing

Light, space and design define this example of one gallery with paintings of various sizes on the walls. The fantastic Raft of the Medusa is the large painting on the left side. The variety in canvas measurements varies from wall size to small size. Don't try to rush through, or you may get a case of art overload. . .



A long and lush Louvre gallery; Raft of the Medusa on the left, by DG Hudson


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Gilt embellishment

In several of the galleries, the ceilings are decorated with gilt plasterwork and inlaid paintings so don't forget to look up.





Louvre Museum Gallery with Gilt Ceiling by DG Hudson
 


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If you haven't been to the Louvre, do you ever hope to see it? (Art museums don't appeal to everyone.) Have you enjoyed this glimpse into the palace? (It's a welcoming place.)

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and I'll respond. Thanks for dropping by!

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References:

The Nike of Samothrace (winged Victory), marble, circa 190 BC

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Raft_of_the_Medusa - Details of the painting The Raft of the Medusa, based on a real life event

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louvre_Palace The Louvre Palace history

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louvre  - Louvre Museum

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35 comments:

  1. I went on that trip I've mentioned, but in my memory I recall that we were rushing through at breakneck speed. I only had a flash camera w/ me in those days and flash wasn't allowed so I have no photos of anything I saw. I also remember being really disappointed in the Mona Lisa because it was so small and we were behind so many people we couldn't get a good look at it.

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    1. It's still no flash, JoJo, so I had to lighten some of the shots and we were there on a sunny day for some of the galleries. I put the camera on lowlight level. Much easier now, I agree. Most places don't allow flash.

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    2. Well my former boss went several years ago and he came back with at least 3,000 photos so I got to see the Louvre, Versailles and more...everything I missed on my trip in the 80s!

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    3. That's great, JoJo. I would have liked to have seen more photos before I visited, but most people take only monument shots. I think that's more photos than I took.

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  2. Now that's the place to view art!
    I don't know how anyone taking one of those tours sees anything.

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    1. All our gallery tours we did on our own, Alex. Only at Versailles did we have a guided tour, that was a crush but I held my camera above the heads of the other tourists.

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  3. Freddie, my supervisor, (Think one of the crew from DUCK DYNASTY) took his young daughters to the Louvre to treat them to something he knew they would appreciate and he couldn't. I would have loved to have toured with them to see Freddie's face. I think he is more sensitive than he feels comfortable in showing.

    Freddie and I play the Lotto together, and he says if I win, he will force me to go to the Louvre, knowing what a stay-at-home I am. He gruffs, "There's more to life than sitting behind a keyboard, Roland!"

    Come to think of it, I would have loved to have toured the Louvre with you and seen everything through your eyes as well as mine. Alas, I will never go, but your photos are lovely. I feel as if I have peeked through the Louvre's keyholes! Thank you!!

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    1. Never say you won't go, Roland, you might win that lotto. I would love to be a tour guide at the Louvre or the curator of any art museum. Maybe in another life. I'd probably talk your ear off about art if you had me along. The Louvre surpasses your expectations, and the glass pyramid isn't bad either.

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  4. I've always wanted to see the Louvre. One of these days! I love wandering art museums when they are quiet and not crowded.

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    1. The Louvre is definitely worth it! It's huge, but you plan your route and try to spread it over a couple of days. Taking photos slowed me down and let me enjoy it more.

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  5. I would love to spend a summer touring France and England (maybe end up in Greece for the month of August...). I love museums and architecture so a tour like that would be like Heaven.

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    1. That does sound like a dream vacation. If you ended it in Greece, you could meet Jessica Bell who hosts a writing retreat there. History and art are fascinating.

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  6. I visited the Lourve many many years ago. I'd go again. You can't really see it all in just one or two days.

    And yeah, the crowds were obstacles to overcome.

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    1. Once you've seen it, it's hard to forget the Louvre. I just waited for the crowds to disperse so they wouldn't spoil my photos. . .

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  7. Hi. D.G.

    How magnificent! Yes, I've been to the Louvre and LONG to return. It is awe inspiring. As an artist, I too, sketched the masters, but at the MET in NYC. I had a classic art education with six hour drawing and painting classes several days a week. I learned so much. Like with writing and artist must learn from the great classics before venturing out of the box...

    Thank you for a lovely reminder of such a magical place.

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    1. I majored in painting and drawing at university and there was a great gallery on campus then where I did my sketching of the masters. The MET would be a nice place to sketch. . .I've heard about it, but haven't been there.

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    2. Oh it is! It's one of the most beautiful museums in the world.... Right on Central Park on the upper east side of NYC... Simply gorgeous. Still one of my all time favorite museums....

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  8. I am going to tell you the Honest to Goodness Truth.... my knowledge about art is slim. I feel a tad uncomfortable with the idea of going to a place where great art lives. Sure, I could stand in front of something and know whether I like it or not, but I think the people who most appreciate art understand it.

    So, I don't have The Louvre on my Bucket List. BUT, if I were there I would want to go. Did that make sense???

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    1. Yes it does, Robin, and I understand that many feel they don't know enough. What we did was take a lot of photos and for those artists we didn't know well, we researched afterwards.

      I had art training, Hubs is self-taught when it comes to art, but he read about it all his life and between us we knew where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see. Much art was influenced by what the public wanted at the time. In France, everyone seems to go to the museums and galleries. They are not as stuffy and somewhat overbearing as North American museums and galleries. The Louvre has protected art that the original countries failed to do. I have immense respect for them and it surpassed what I expected.

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  9. I never went to Paris when I was so close by in the north of France. Now I doubt it will ever happen and as a lover of beautiful art, I am sorry. Your love for the place shines through here.

    I am dedicating my post of today to your husband. Many photos of a mile plus long train going through the Tehachapi Loop. I hope you can show it to him. I thought of him as I took the pictures and they did come out well.

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    1. That is so sweet of you, Inger! I'll have a look and see if I can show them to him. He loves his trains!
      Going to your blog place right now.

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  10. The Louvre is a beautiful place but I have a penchant for the Musee d'Orsay. I've been to the Louvre a few times and you're right about the crowds. It's an amazing place, but because I'm so darn short, I can't always appreciate the art due to the sea of people in front of me. It’s actually best to go to the Louvre during their off season if at all possible. Damn, this post makes me want to go spend a day at the museum! :)

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    1. I'm of the petite variety, too, Elise, which is why I liked the lesser crowds in September at the Louvre. I love the Musee d'Orsay like you since I really like Impressionist art, but there is no photography allowed there. The Carnavalet Museum, another fave allowed some photography of the displays, but not including historical documents.

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  11. I think the ex-palace itself is just as amazing as the treasures within. Even when you don't go in a group, it is crowded there, but patience is rewarded. It's certainly worth lining up to see the Mona Lisa. Last time I was there, they'd removed Victory...for refurbishment. It would take too many lifetimes to work your way through this marvellous museum, one of the highlights of any Paris adventure.

    Hope all goes well, D.G.

    Denise

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    1. I was able to weasel up close to the rope barrier and the protective glass surrounding The Mona Lisa. I knew it wasn't as large as everyone expects, but she is beautiful. The Louvre is amazing, I agree. Things are going as well as can be expected. . .and yes, I'm learning patience.

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  12. I hope to go back with the Mrs. someday. We've each gone separately -- she with a college tour, I whilst chaperoning high-schoolers -- but I think we would find more to appreciate together. Good advice about not going with a big group, mos def.

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    1. I agree, Milo, we thoroughly enjoyed going at our own pace, but we did plan which exhibits we wanted to see and ensured we went there first, and we went early in the day, when it first opened, as a lineup forms fast.

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  13. I loved visiting the Louvre. Yes, the ceilings are a work of art themselves!

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    1. The ceilings at Versailles are also masterpieces! I saw some of the restoration work at Versailles, it's done inch by square inch for the painted areas. Thanks for dropping by, Sherry.

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  14. I have been, but in too much of a rush. Too many people around the Mona Lisa and the sense of having to hurry. But, there is always that future trip to Paris savoring the experience slowly, which I hope I can do.

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    1. I don't know if you can ever get enough of the Louvre, as they do change it up sometimes. Countries now want their art back after the Louvre has acted as custodian all these years, I don't know if that's fair, considering they didn't take good care of the artifacts initially. The Louvre is an interesting place in many ways.

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  15. Hi DG - I've been to the Louvre but years and years ago .. and remember little, and I think I've been back since they've revamped it - but not inside.

    I'm sure I've seen the Mona Lisa - but have I?!

    Wonderful shots you've got here .. and yes to study art ... I do know very little .. but have just joined the Tate - and went to see the Turner Late exhibition - on his art work late in life ... and we have the new film coming out ... and I've seen a few others with his works in, or with some of his works as a supplement to the Exhibition being shown: one was here along the coast in Brighton with his coastal paintings, another was at Greenwich with his huge maritime paintings, and the other was part of a water colour exhibition when I went to the Tate a couple of years ago with a friend.

    So now I can explore more ... and obviously I learn as I go ...

    Re my talks - they form part of the University of the 3rd Age - that puts on 'classes' given by ex teachers or specialists, and is open to us oldies ... I've only recently joined .. and offered to do some history ones ...

    ... as I've no idea about most history - I do as I blog and learn as I go ... the Dissolution was a nightmare ... there's a lot to it and I probably put too much background in ... and in fact had to curtail it a great deal ...

    The Reformation is a difficult area ... and I've done Luther's wife, and a talk on Mary Queen of Scots and John Knox ... both were easier!!

    I'd have emailed this -but for some reason I can't find it ... at this moment ... I do hope all is as well as can be over your end of the world ... my thoughts - Hilary

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    1. Love your informative comment, Hilary! I did get close to Mona Lisa (outside the bulletproof glass and rope) I took two photos. Great things come in small sizes, and Mona is one of them.

      Hubs is in one of the gallery photos - the burgundy gallery one with his video cam.

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  16. Gorgeous. It looks like the art museum in Vienna, which was also an old palace.

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    1. Vienna is another place I'd love to see, Sean. The palaces with art incorporated into the architecture design still have the ability to amaze us.

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