The Louvre – 3/7/2016

The Louvre Museum is the largest and most visited museum in the world and is actually housed in the Louvre Palace, built in the late 12th century.  The Louvre Palace started as a fortress, but as the city expanded it lost its importance and became a residence for the French Kings.  King Louis XIV replaced the Louvre as his residence with the Palace of Versailles in 1692, leaving the Louvre to house the royal collection of artwork.

The Louvre is massive and you will not see everything in one trip, we wandered through the rooms with no real set plan and looked at things that took our interest.  Max and Ava lost interest pretty quickly but Josh and Tristan enjoyed the trip and talking about different things in the museum.  Obviously different areas will interest different people and there is so much online that you can pre-plan your visit if you want to.  I have included a few things we found interesting on our trip.

Famous women in the Louvre, there are many, but here are just a few that we saw while wandering around.  Photo 1 is of the Goddess of Victory or in Greek, Nike which stands at the top of the stairs in the Louvre.  The statue was created in the 2nd century BC and unearthed on the island of Samothrace.  It has been in the Louvre since 1884.  Another famous female or group of females is the Three Graces or the Charites which represent feminine charm, beauty and human creativity.  They are the daughters of Zeus.  They were created in 1831 by Jean-Jacques Pradier. Lastly, and probably the most famous lady in the museum, the Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo da Vinci in 1503.  She has hung in the Louvre since 1797.  The day we visited there was so many people there you could only see her from a distance, so a terrible photo unfortunately. 

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And then we have the macabre art.  On the left is actually a funerary monument commissioned in 1477 by Phillip Pot to stand over his grave in the Chapel of Saint Jean Baptiste on his death.  However, after the french revolution it was seized and later sold and was placed in a hotel garden, before being acquired by the Louvre in 1899.  I found the picture on the right interesting as you have this beautiful women gazing off to her right, while being presented with a severed head.  Turns out its artist Luini interpretation of Salome, King Herod’s step daughter, being presented with the head of John the Baptist.

Josh in particular has always loved the Greek and roman myths so it was quite cool to see some of the statues throughout the Louvre of different historical or mythical figures.  The one below is of Hercules fighting Acheloos and was created by François Joseph Bosio in 1824. 

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A very interesting section of the Louvre is dedicated to Persia.  We grow up learning about the Egyptians, Romans and Greeks but not a lot of time is spent on the Persians, but there is some really interesting things here.  The first photo is of a genii from the palace of Sargon II (721 – 705 BC) in Iraq, it was a supernatural being and its purpose was one of protection over humans and buildings to ward of evil spirits. The middle photo is of a Lamassu which had a human for intelligence, wings for speed and the body of a bull for strength.  They are found in pairs flanking the entrance to the kings throne room to protect the kingdom from demons and to show the kings importance to visitors. The photo on the far right is a frieze of archers and is made from small glazed bricks and has an almost mosaic look to it.  It is believed to be from about 510 BC from the Palace of Darius I, in Susa, Iran.  

The Louvre museum extends to the outside with the glass pyramid and the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel.  In 1984, the then prime minister of France, Francois Mitterrand, commissioned the glass pyramid which is the entrance to the Louvre.  The pyramid is made of glass segments (rhombus and triangle shaped) and metal poles to create the 26 metre high square based pyramid.  On the right is the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel.  It was commissioned by Napoleon to commemorate his military victories.  It was built between 1806 and 1808 and is much smaller than the Arc de Triomphe.

Tourist Information for the Louvre

Opening Hours:

Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday – 9 am to 6 pm, Wednesday and Friday open 9 am – 9.45 pm, closed on Tuesdays

Closed on the following holidays: January 1, May 1, December 25
 

Cost:

  • Adults – €15, Under 18 – free, 18 – 25 yr old residents of EEA – free
  • Friday’s from 6 pm admission is free for all under 26 year olds
  • Bastille Day (July 14) – Admission is free for all
  • October – March – the first Sunday of each month is free for all visitors.

Official Website: http://www.louvre.fr/en/

by Karen

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