[summer with the eaters] paris pt.4.3. — louvre

21.07.2010

As my sister and I had already expected, the people flooding Louvre would look like Jakarta inhabitants flooding the Ancol beach on Idul Fitri. They all looked like a big bowl of cendol.  

cendol
(I didn’t take this picture, I got it from a blog here)

Fortunately we had museum passes so we didn’t have to queue with the awful lot of tourists from tour groups. As we entered the big atrium, we managed to get a site map from a fellow visitor sitting next to us when we had a little break.

We then walked directly to the very most crown jewel of the museum and probably the most precious artwork in human history: the Mona Lisa. The paiting, also known as La Joconde, was surrounded by dozens of people in one of the halls in Denon. I managed to squeeze myself to the front left, took some pictures of the mysterious smirk without any chance of being absorbed to the painting or figuring out the wow-ness of the painting. 

Mona Lisa

About the smile, maybe Jens Lekman was right: 

I know why Mona Lisa smiles,
Da Vinci must have been a really funny guy.

After successfully saw the glimpse of the painting, Ci Ichay-Koh Nanug and I decided to part. I really wanted to see paintings by Ingres and Vermeer, and also the second-famous Venus de Milo, while they were too tired to walk around so they would wait for me outside. 

My sister had warned me about the incredibly huge size (60,600 square metres) of the Louvre, but she didn’t really warn me about the labyrinth paths. 

So I was on the 1st floor of Sully (middle wing) and all I wanted was to go to 2nd floor of Richelieu (left wing), but I simply couldn’t find either the stairs to go up or the way to that part of The Louvre. I wanted to see European paintings and I got completely lost in the Near Eastern and Egyptian Antiquities.

Sphinx


The Seated Scribe

At some point I finally found an elevator that took me to the second floor, but still I couldn’t find the French and Dutch paintings section. Starting to run out of time (because I had to meet my sister at 17.00 and it was 16.30 already), I cancelled my plan to see Vermeer’s The Lacemaker and went straight to see Ingres’s paintings instead. Saw two of his most famous pieces The Valpinçon Bather  and The Turkish Bath, I then went downstairs to see Venus de Milo.

The Turkish Bath

Again, I was lost in the Egyptian Antiquities section. Maybe the whole museum was cursed by the Egyptian spirits which resulted in the labyrinth effect for the visitors, as if they were trapped inside an Egyptian pyramid.

The map itself didn’t really help much. There was of course a symbol for stairs, but some stairs only went up, some only down, and there were places as if it was one big hall where you could go straight but actually you had to go downstairs to a mezzanine-like hall and then up again. Completely insane! 

I finally made it to the Greek Antiquities section and saw Venus de Milo, which somehow reminded me of a scene in the history boys. (will find that scene later.. )

 

Venus de Milo

I actually more interested in the statue Hermaphroditos Asleep, although still I thought it looked more like a man than a cross-gender being.

Hemaphroditos Asleep

Few minutes later, with completely worn feet, I dragged myself out of the museum to see Ci Ichay & Koh Nanug. I stretched my legs on the side of the pond, and then massaged my own feet. I felt like I couldn’t feel my feet anymore. 

And then I was just sitting there, asking my sister to take some photos of me with the famous Louvre pyramids when we saw an old guy in a worn out suit with a reddish piece of clothing around his left hand. We didn’t realise that the redness actually came from blood until we saw a shiny knife in his back pocket. Not long after some security guards came to him and cleared him out of the open area.

stretching my legs


Koh Nanug & Ci Ichay with the Pyramid of Louvre

When we finally gained back our strength in our feet, we went downstairs to the Louvre shopping mall (Carrousel du Louvre). I went to the some kind of a nature/eco shop and bought a bicycle horn for Maarten (which we might able to use for our project), and then went to Virgin Megastore and bought Moby’s Alice LP (because it was on sale for 1 euro, hehe) and some other stuff.

Alice | Moby | 2008

We ended our day with a quick dinner at McDo and went back to the hotel.
more photos from the louvre are here 

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