Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rainy day entertainment

I finally got to the Louvre (Betsy!). It was a must-see on Mom and Bob’s list, donc, the perfect excuse for me to finally visit.

It is everything you expect it to be. For the lovers and optimists, it’s a museum and collection that is absolutely stunning, magnificent and impressive. Its size and scope is almost incomprehensible. Fresco ceilings about 100 feet above your head. Never-ending hallways of solid marble. Sweeping staircases and courtyards and breathtaking detailing at every turn. To say nothing of the art: paintings the size of small houses and sculptures of every god and mortal.

For the cynics and pessimists, it’s also everything you’d expect it to be: crowded, overwhelming and annoying.

What was almost as captivating as the art were the Italian tourists in a frenzy to see so many of their masters. You’re allowed to take pictures, so it was a minefield of people getting their picture taken in front of a particular painting or sculpture: Look, I was here! Really!

I’m not much of fan of the Italian masters, I hate to say—most of the art just doesn’t speak to me. But I couldn’t get enough of the Winged Victory of Samothrace. You approach this gorgeous piece from the floor below, step by step, while it looms over you with power and beauty. It absolutely lifts your heart.

1 comment:

  1. The first time I was in the Louvre, we came from the rooms to the side, so I sort of came around and corner and there it was.
    It knocked me back .. I was stunned. I don't know why but I had forgotten it or not thought about it but I remember how bowled over I was coming upon that amazing sight.
    Then I went down the stairs and came back up in front of it .. I have often dreamt of living in Paris and spending as many hours as I wish in the Louvre. No matter how many times I have been there, there was never enough time.