Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day 3

[Day 1][Day 2][Day 3]

Day 3: I woke up at 9 in the morning, and (as would become our morning routine) went to Moulin de Rosa to get breakfast. We bought a single baguette, which I held as we walked back to the apartment. It made me feel ever so Parisian. We broke our bread at the apartment and ate it with the fruit and jam that we had picked up at Monoprix, as well as the butter and Nutella that we found in our apartment.

After breakfast we jumped onto the bus and went to the Louvre.

I'm really astounded by I.M. Pei's glass pyramid. The space beneath it was all illuminated by the natural light let in by the pyramid- making it infinitely more open and airy. I'm starting to think that I really like architecture a lot.

We entered in the Denon wing, where we flashed our fancy museum passes and went right in to seeing the art. We walked up a staircase and through a room filled with Roman antiquities until we were faced with another staircase, which we knew to hold the Winged Victory at the top. (My Grandpa still talks about the angel at the top of the big staircase sometimes, so I knew where it was.) We walked up and found ourselves face to face (I suppose that I shouldn't say face, as she doesn't really have one) with the Winged Victory of Samonthrace.

The Victory stands on the prow of a ship. The angle from which you see the statue in the picture above is the direction that you're supposed to look at it- not head on. The other half of the body lacks the fine details present in this side, leading many people (including the author of the guide book that I read) to believe that the Victory was intended to be seen at an angle. After seeing the Winged Victory we walked through some of the Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities section.

The Venus de Milo was crowded. Impressive, but very, very, very, crowded. Trying to take pictures normally ended up with a group of people in the corners. Still, really impressive.

Walked back through some of the Roman Antiquities and into the Italian Sculpture room in the Sculpture section. I think that I might have gone to heaven. Really, truly, it might have happened.

Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss - Antonio Canova

Dying Slaves - Michelangelo

Le Cardinal de Richelieu - Bernini

mystery statue!

We made a loop somewhere and found ourselves in the Apollo Gallery- home to some of the Crown Jewels. After this time, we left the Louvre and walked to Ile-St.-Louis. We passed through the Marche aux fleurs again. (Can I just take a moment to say that it was beautiful? it was beautiful. Not large- but perfect nonetheless.)

The wind started to pick up as we walked from Ile-de-la-Cite to Ile-St.-Louis, and it was drizzling by the time we reached a place to eat. We ate lunch at a place called Cafe Med, where the waitress sung along with classic American pop/rock on the radio and smiled at me when we made eye contact. After lunch we walked to Berthillon to enjoy a delicious ice cream cone.

After eating ice cream and walking around Ile-St.-Louis, we walked back to Ile-de-la-Cite. The wind and the rain were picking up, so we went inside of Notre Dame. It wasn't crowded when we entered, but it seemed to be that there were many people doing the same as us: seeking shelter. (from the rain, and from other things.) I'm not religious- and the fact that there were people around me feeling the warmth of some divine light made me shiver with cold and a strange type of loneliness.

We walked through the cathedral for a while, taking in all of the spectacular stained glass and arches and columns. The back half of the cathedral was closed in preparation for evening mass, so we didn't get a good view of the rose windows. When the rain had let up we walked over to the Cite metro stop where we boarded a train and went back to the Louvre.

Again we entered through the Denon wing, but this time we went straight to the first floor, largely resuming where we had left off. We walked though the Italian paintings of the 13th-15th centuries, and I must say that I apologize for having been entirely too thrilled by my surroundings. But, again, can you really blame me? I'm me, and I'm an art nerd. Had the museum guards been watching me with a more critical eye, I may have been told off for salivating too much. Art is cool! (please don't judge me too harshly.)

Leonardo di Vinci
Baccus/Saint Jean-Baptiste, La Vierge aux Rochers, Saint Jean-Baptiste

Of course, we saw the Mona Lisa.
Through a swarm. And a six foot protective bubble. And five inches of glass.

Still, I saw her, and I smiled back at her, but I don't think that she really noticed because she was too busy concerning herself with the fact that she was absolutely adored.

After exiting the room that the Mona Lisa was kept in, I found myself facing La Belle Jardiniere by Raphael. I think that my gasp might have been audible. (that's a little bit embarrassing, so I'm trusting that's going to stay between you and me.) (Because the internet is a great place to keep secrets.)

After getting my fill of Italian paintings (that's a laugh. Like that would ever happen at all. Let's try that again:) After I realized how limited my time was, I decided that I would have to save the rest of the hall for my next trip to Paris, and continued to the Large Format French paintings.

Oedipe explique l'enigme du sphinx, La Grande Odalisque

Pygmalion et Galatee (detail)
Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson

One of my favorite paintings. :D My mom loves the movie My Fair Lady, so I'm no stranger to the story of Pygmalion. Still, this picture is absolutely wonderful and fantastic. Don't look at her. Please don't look at her. Ignore the fact that she is naked, and just look at Pygmalion. He's positively perfect. See that look of awe? The way that he is tentatively reaching out to confirm her reality(or possibly grope her)? Love is good. This picture is good.

I'm not really sure how much I like or dislike David. I'm leaning (at the moment) to strongly adore him, but that might only be due to the fact that I watched the Simon Schama's Power of Art episode about him. Other paintings that I saw the Coronation of Napoleon, the Oath of the Horatii, the Intervention of the Sabine Women, and The Lictors Bring to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons, all of which were immense and fantastic.

Remember this video: ?

At 1:15 starts the piece Death of Marat, by Jacques-Louis David. That's another reason why I'm liking David at this moment. And when Marat opens his eyes three seconds later? I swoon.

Raft of the Medusa

1:05 in 70 million, if you were curious.

Liberty Leading the People

2:05 in 70 million.

(I hope that you understand that the video for 70 million is my second favorite music video of all time. I am an art geek and it thrills me. I'mma let you finish, but Bob Dylan had my favorite music video of all time with Subterranean Homesick Blues.)

After seeing much of the Large format paintings, we went to the ground floor and entered the Richelieu wing, where Hammurabi's Code was. (An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.) We also walked into the Palace of Sargon II.

This smile will never stop being hilarious to me.

From the Palace we went up to the second floor into the German, Flemish, and Dutch Painting section. There were a large number of vanitas, and I felt ever so clever for knowing why there were soap bubbles and wilting flowers and other symbolic things like that adorning the tabletops. We walked through the Reubens room rather quickly, I think, and went to see The Lacemaker by Vermeer. After seeing The Lacemaker, I walked up to one of the guards and clumsily asked them in French for directions. They were really nice, and I think that they might have felt bad for me because I was so apologetic, and gave me good directions to get to our last destination for the night: Poussin.

My camera had died at this point, so I don't have anything to show you, but I will tell you that Et In Arcadia Ego (Even in Arcadia I Exist) is just as great as it looked in Art History class.

Left the Louvre as it was getting late, and took the train back to the Monoprix where we bought eggs for dinner. (I also picked up two packages of Kinder Eggs because they are really wonderful and I don't eat them enough.) We picked up a bottle of wine for my aunt and cousin and I picked up a bottle of Orangina. (The advertisements for which that I saw in the metro seem to always include scantily clad animals. Don't ask, because I don't know how to answer.)

At the apartment we scrambled our eggs and ate them and fell asleep.

Things to Know:

Allow yourself plenty of time to see things if you're going to the Louvre. If your trip is going to be long enough, try to make several visits. Know what you're going to do before you get there, and don't waste time looking at things that you don't absolutely adore.

in the event that you're ever in Paris and you're hungry:

Cafe Med: 77 rue Saint Louis-en-l'ile, 75004 Paris. Phone number: 01 43 29 73 17

Berthillon: 29-31 rue saint Louis-en-l'ile, 75004 Paris. Phone number: 01 43 54 31 61

[Day 1][Day 2][Day 3]

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