The Louvre is said to be the most visited art museum in the world. More than half a million people visit it every month, or even just to have a glimpse of the symbolic pyramids built in the ’80s (which by the way was loathed by some French people, part due to reason of conflict image – the futuristic sci-fi look versus the museum’s classic historical contents, and part due to French’s arrogance – the architect is Chinese American.) It’s no doubt the largest art museum with 35,000 art pieces displayed in the 652,000 square foot Louvre Palace.
If you haven’t been to Louvre, you may not know the glass pyramid that everyone photographed is not really a museum by itself. Duh! It is just a gateway leading to the underground lobby and then to the several entrances for different sections in the museum. The show rooms for displaying all the sculptures, paintings, drawings, etc. are actually in the surrounding 3-story (north, east and south) wings of the Louvre Palace. There is no west wing. Instead, there is Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel (see picture of it in my previous post). Keep going west would be the Tuileries Garden, Champs-Élysées Avenue, and finally the famous Arc de Triomphe, all in one straight line.
Nevertheless, photographing the glass pyramid (the big one and three small ones nearby in the same courtyard, Cour Napoléon) is a must have activity. When you do it in daylight, those pictures are simply saying, “Look, I’ve been there.” But the more amazing ones would be the ones taken at night, with the warm lights shining from the bottom of the pyramid and through the glasses. Those ones will awe you. Many people visit the Louvre for half a day or just a couple of hours. I would say, unfortunately they are missing a lot. Being not able to take picture of the pyramids both during the day and at night is just one thing. The collection in the museum is amazingly massive. We got to the museum at 9 in the morning; it was 6pm when we left. Even so, we had to skip one or two sections and we didn’t even have time to sit down and appreciate any pieces closely.
In the hall where Mona Lisa is, there are constantly at least 50 people trying to take picture of her. First of all, the closest distance you can get is about 15 feet away. Second, the painting is placed behind an inch thick bulletproof glass, plus lots of reflection from across the hall, and lots of reflection of the people right in front of it. So it’s nearly impossible to take a good photo. After all, it’s likely the most talked about and most controversial piece of art.
Below is “my collection” borrowed from the Grand Louvre, at the courtesy of the museum administration. 😉 This post has been taken a long time to finish also because of the time taken to organize these images.
Copyright © 2011 Jenson Yu. All rights reserved.