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Ah, the Louvre. It's France's version of the Smithsonian, but better. All art, all the time. Its a huge palace that was converted to a museum in the late 1700s and it goes on for freakin' ever. :) That Sunday morning, Mom and Dad got up early and went to Mass at Notre Dame - no they don't speak French, but I'm sure they said a prayer for all of us. I slept in a bit and then hopped the Metro to the Louvre. Let me offer this advice - if its crowded, you don't want to go. If there is a line in the courtyard entrance around the IM Pei Pyramid, go down to the Metro and enter from there. I had no waiting at 9 in the morning, and the first Sunday of every month is FREE for all the museums in Paris!! Bonus! But remember that other people have that idea too, so go early. I entered the French Scupture exhibit first and I was pretty much done. I  was totally captivated by the sculpture exhibits. The place goes on for MILES and has 3 to 5 floors of stuff over 6 or 7 wings. Here are some of my favorite works from the day.

I forget what the foreground was, but that's one of Marly's Horses in the background with Mercury Riding Pegasys below it. This was my very first view in the museum. (wow!)

French Sculpture Exhibit -1

Man - French Sculpture Exhibit

This sculpture just moved me. You can't really tell the detail, but the expression on his face was just captivating. I think I stared for almost 15 minutes. And of course, I forgot to write down the info. Basically, this is a 17th or 18th century French garden work

The Aphrodite of Melos, or Venus de Milo. This work dates to 120 BC. Its apparently a big deal, but I wasn't too impressed with it. Granted, I'd pretty much overdosed on sculpture by then. :)

Venus de Milo

Consecration of Napoleon

The Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon and the Coronation of Empress Josephine, by Louis David
Two things about this painting. First, its HUGE. Over 19 ft long and 30 ft tall. And the thing that really caught my attention was the red cloak that Josephine is wearing. It looks so real, you expect to be able to reach out and feel velvet when you touch the canvas. Very cool.

Dying Slave, by Michelangelo
(yes, THAT Michelangelo.) There are two of his peices in the Italian sculpture exhibit and this was my favorite. What you can't really tell from this is the way the body is contorted, yet it is proportioned almost perfectly. I felt sorry for the model for this work.

Michelangelo's Dying Slave

I spent most of the morning wandering one wing and happened to bump into Mom and Dad around 11:30 when it started becoming wall to wall people. Let me tell you, for me to run into Mom and Dad in this place was a miracle. We made plans to meet for lunch and I dashed off to see the Italian and Greek sculpture on the other side of the museum. Lunch was at the museum, and by then it was really crowded. No, I did not see the Mona Lisa. Didn't really want to (and the people who did were lined up for miles!). Don't really care for it. Like I said, I discovered that I'm most into sculpture (or Monets. more on that later.) Here were my two favorites of the Museum.

This is the Winged Victory, also known as Nike. It dates from 190 BC. This piece sits in its own hallway, at the top of the stairs, so you can get a variety of perspectives as you walk into this wing of the building.   This photo doesn't really do it justice. You can almost feel the wind blowing when you're looking at it. I absolutely loved it.

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Eros and Psyche, also called Cupid and Psyche
Italian, 1793. I am not sure why I liked this one so much, but I did. It's extremely complicated for one piece of marble. And the proportions are almost perfect. I guess I'm just a sucker for wings made out of marble. :) Again, I wondered how long the models had to pose for this.

 

At this point, Dad wasn't feeling so hot, so he elected to venture out on his own and make his way back to the hotel. I absolutely abhor crowds. Hate them, so the idea of going back into the masses looking at stuff was not appealing. And my feet were starting to hurt. Instead, Mom and I hit the museum gift shop to look around and buy postcards to send home. After a while, we decided to make our way to the Muse d'Orsay, which has a ton of Monets... (picture me jumping up and down with excitement!)

Next... The Orsay Museum.

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