You could spend your entire life studying the works in the Louvre. If I had an art blog and worked at the Louvre, I’d certainly have enough material for a decade worth of posts.
Personally, I did not enjoy the Louvre experience, which is a shame because there are so many pieces at the museum that I really wanted to ponder. In my opinion, the Mona Lisa wrecks the Louvre. People are so obsessed by this one painting that they completely overlook everything else in their frenzied worship of it.
For example (and this is not the only example), while exploring the Renaissance art section with the kidlet, we were accosted by a man who did not speak English. When I say accosted I mean to say that he bodily threw himself at me, I fell into a bench as he shoved the Louvre map in my face and grunted a few times while pointing at a photo of the Mona Lisa. I *think* he was asking me where the painting was.
There’s not much polite Canadian in me when something like this happens, so I kindly told him to f**k off, pushed him away, and checked to make sure I still had my wallet. This didn’t phase him at all. He simply ran to the next person he saw and did the same thing. I don’t think he was a pickpocket. He seemed to be some kind of Mona Lisa fanatic.
So, let’s get the Mona Lisa out of the way. Once you find it (follow the crowd), you have to push your way through a rave-like-crowd to get to it (be prepared to be touched by lots of people):
And, you never really get to see it head-on unless you are incredibly patient and pushy, which I am not; especially when paintings like The Lacemaker and sculptures like Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss are waiting for me to stand and ponder them. You might be able to get a better photo if you have a selfie stick (which are banned in many museums and galleries; it’s only a matter of time before the Louvre bans them too).
As you can see, the painting is actually really tiny. That was the kidlet’s first comment: Wow. It’s really small. I thought it would be bigger given all the hype. Honestly, because it’s so small, you can’t really even see details unless your distance vision is fantastic.
For a while, we stood and pondered whether the painting behind the glass was really the original. My bet is that they keep the original locked up somewhere and this is a very clever decoy (especially with incidents of art vandalism). The “security” theatre that happens at entry really only gives the male security guards the opportunity to touch your breasts and doesn’t actually do anything “secure.”
We happily left the Mona Lisa and explored less busy areas of the museum. Now that we’ve gotten the Mona Lisa out of the way, there’ll be a future post about the Louvre and other fantastic pieces in the museum.