Wednesday, July 03, 2013

A Long Day at the Louvre

We had an extremely pleasing visit to the Louvre today. To start: we were concerned that we would have a very long wait in line, but the actual wait was only around half an hour including the security line, buying the ticket, and getting into the museum. We think that we were lucky -- and also, we made an early start. So we were in the museum just before 10:00 this morning, we ate lunch in the very pleasant (though expensive) sit-down dining room, and we stayed until around 3:30.

The Louvre is like a conglomerate of individual museums, which ideally would be worth several hours for each one. We visited quite a few departments: Italian Renaissance art, including Mona Lisa (whose adoring crowds have grown unimaginably). Medieval art, including a vast collection of tapestries, ivories, enamels, and pottery. Islamic art in an enormous new area that just opened last September. German and Dutch painters including Metsu, several members of the Breugel family, Rembrandt, Vermeer, and many others. French painting of all centuries up to the late 19th, for which one must go to the Orsay Museum. Some donated collections that are shown intact out of respect for the collectors' wishes, which include an occasional Monet, Degas, or Pissaro. Near Eastern art from many centuries and cultures ... It's overwhelming.

Taking photos of actual paintings is impractical, but here are a couple of views from the windows:

In one of the rooms full of drawings and sketches, I learned of a painter that is new to me: Elisabetta Sirani, who lived from 1638-1665 in Italy. I've looked her up -- she was very accomplished, and painted many full-scale oil paintings as well as this sketch:

1 comment:

Jeanie said...

Love the Sirani sketch -- I don't remember this one, but it's lovely. We had a grand time there, too -- except we should have brought our lunch! Longer in the lunch line than the real line!