So I begin my visits to the Louvre. Originally, I thought I could split the Louvre up into 2 visits but perhaps a page on each wing is more suitable because each is packed wit artifacts. Each dedicated to a period of time, a place, and full of bounty. There are of course the main attractions, the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and Winged Venus. Each attracts crowds of onlookers who are eager to take a picture with the object as the background.
I’ll begin at the Richelieu wing, the Napoleon III apartments, and some middle-aged tapestries, along with historical tapestries commissioned by Louis XIV. This visit then comes full circle, to the Mona Lisa, Winged Venus, and ends with Northern European and Italian Sculptures. The feat was complete in 3 hours, on a Friday night when the Louvre is free for everyone under 26. When young and in Paris these are the kind of opportunities one does not pass up.
Napoleon III was the last monarch and first president of France. His apartments are ornate like much of the French monarchy but with a somber side. A letter from Marie Antoinette on the eve of her execution shows the violent revolutionary side of French Politics. Gilded table piece, ornate desks, and trinkets made with fine artistry decorate the showcases. His bed, like every French king, was covered and divided, so as to separate the king’s world and that of his subjects.
The middle age tapestries are a unique medium to portray art. Each is done with a fine attention to detail. Everyone is done in grand scale; a testament of patience, as each was sewn by hand. The colors are rich in reds and blues, browns and look surprisingly bright for 1000 years of wear.
One of the most interesting pieces is a collection of Tapestries is history dedicated to the Roman General Scipio. The tapestries were commission by Louis XIV, the artist’s king. The entire series is dedicated to Scipio’s legions that defeated Hannibal in the second Punic War. From Left to right each wall sized tapestry is a detail to a milestone completed by Scipio’s Legions. His landing in Africa, along with the defeat of Hannibal at Zama is shown in wall-sized panorama. The Belgium artist places a lot of emphasis on movement.
I think Napoleon’s quarters are very modest when compared with Versailles. The French have a tradition of ornate trends throughout their history. I love that the Louvre shows every wing in detail. It is by far the best museum in the world.
The tapestry dedicated to Scipio sounds amazing! I’m so glad that people (even when Napoleon III was in power) remain in awe of Roman achievements.
I would like nothing more than to visit the Louvre. I hope you had a great time there and were able to see everything that you wanted to see!