Sunday, August 25, 2013

Honeymoon: Louvre, the perfect symmetry II

Last week of August, which signals that we'll be flying to HK next week, lol! I'm getting both excited and worried about our dec holiday plans, feel a bit unsettled that we have yet to work out every detail yet. The last time we planned for a major trip was for our honeymoon & that was a year back! Speaking of which, let me continue on our honeymoon journey to Paris. Enter the magical world of Louvre :) Upon entering from Denon wing, we were greeted with a flight of stairs leading to the majestic Winged Victory of Samothrace, one of the most celebrated sculptures in the world.
This was created not only to honour the goddess, Nike, but also to honour a sea battle. It conveys a sense of action & triumph as well as portraying artful flowing drapery through its features. 
 A fantastic piece of art combining form & movement. It stood on a rostral pedestal of grey marble (believed to be the prow of a ship) and represents the goddress as she descends from the skies to the triumphant fleet.
Her arms & head were never recovered, but it was believed that her right arm was raised, cupped round her mouth to deliver the shout of Victory. This piece of art is seen as an iconic depiction of triumphant spirit and of the divine momentarily coming face to face with man. This impression was further enhanced by the very fact that the head is missing.  
I was certainly impressed, having seen such a thought-provoking piece of art work right in front of my eyes. As much as I would like to stand and stare, there were many other art pieces housed within Louvre that I had to explore. 
The famous Mona Lisa painting that is housed here. Since it will be crowded at any time, we took our own sweet time to head there while looking at other exhibits along the way.
 The gallery was decorated with art pieces from top to bottom. The museum started with an 537 paintings, with the majority of the works belonging to royal & confiscated church properties. It now housed over 35,000 pieces of the world's most important art.
Famous french painters were also given their due recognition as well, with their portraits placed alongside with the exhibits. 
Kids having their lesson in the Louvre, learning both art & history at the same time. This reminded me of my schooling days, where we had school trips along Singapore River. We'll look forward to these trips for anywhere is better than being cooped up in the classrooms :)
With 35,000 pieces of works on display, it would take ages to finish every single piece. It was estimated that even if you devote 30 sec to each piece and ignoring the time taken to walk from one piece to the other, it would take about 12.5 days (24 hours without stopping) to finish everything.
Rem to look at the ceiling paintings/sculptures too! These are really impressive works of arts that is worth your neck ache, lol! 
The spacious hallway was well lit by natural sunlight, which came in through the arched glass ceilings. This made the place looked bright and allowed the visitors to appreciate the art pieces in their true colours.
We are just outside the entrance leading to Mona Lisa :)
Everyone who came to Louvre will want to look at this painting, arguably the most famous painting in the world by Leonardo Da Vinci. It was believed that Leonardo painted this between 1503-1506, so that makes the painting more than 500 years old! 
It is extremely difficult to get a picture of Mona Lisa + you without anyone else. The secret - try to make your way through to the front! My small frame made it easier to wriggle my way through and Leecher just had to follow behind :)
Mona Lisa painting is protected by a glass enclosure, which helped to maintain the condition of the art piece. I was slightly disappointed not being able to see it up close for we had to stand behind the barrier. This is also the area where most pickpockets operate, so be extra careful with your belongings.
In contrast to the small petite frame of Mona Lisa's painting, this "Wedding at Cana" (also known as The Wedding Feast at Cana) stood massively across the hall way. This is also the largest painting in Louvre's collection.
A miracle story from the Christian New Testament, this story depicted how Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding - his first miracle of seven, as recounted in the Gospel.
This was one of the painting that I could relate to for I knew of this story. It made it easier for me to appreciate the details & understand the meaning behind the painting. I had difficulties trying to understand some of the art pieces for I had totally no clue on what was the background/history behind it.
Taking a break along Grande Galerie. I was so glad to find a place to rest our tired feet. I think we only covered only 10% of the whole compound thus far. 
Leecher, the not-so-artistic-one, said that all he could see in the paintings are naked ladies & men, lol! Well, this is very true indeed!   
 Check out the crowd behind! Sometimes, it was simply impossible to capture a pic without people in the background.
Selfie in the mirror :) 
Another must-see painting is  "Liberty leading the People" by Delacroix. This was to commemorate the July Revolution of 1830, which toppled Charles X of France. In the painting, a woman personifying Liberty leads the people forward over the fallen bodies, holding the flag of the French Revolution. However, this painting was defaced recently by a woman using marker pen.
 We had to rely on the floor plan to keep track of our exact location. This place is really like a maze!
Peeking into the outside world :) 
 Overlooking the Tuileries Garden. We had a picnic in this garden & will blog about it in another post.
Photography is allowed in the museum, even though the usage of flash light is strongly discouraged. Here is a painting on  "Christ on the Cross Adored by Two Donors", which the photographer was trying to capture.
Heading down to another floor of art pieces, but I'll continue in my next entry :) Stay tuned for more on our Louvre adventures, tata! 

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