Monday, July 14, 2008

An American in Paris: Part 2

Of course, I went to the Louvre.  

The pyramids of Da Vinci Code fame.  Alas, I discovered no secrets concealed in the varnishes of the paintings in the Louvre galleries.  

Some Australian guy and I traded "photographic favors" - I took a picture of him in front of the pyramids and he took a picture of me in the same spot.

Thinking of my classmate Cindy, who had a 1/4 size 19th-century copy of the Raft of the Medusa to treat last year.  Yes, that is a look of trepidation on my face, and it is there because of the painting.

I loved this warning sign on the escalators in the Louvre.  

Notice pictogram number three in particular.  

No poodles.

Look closely at the background, beyond all the chaos.  It's the Mona Lisa.  That's right.

I had attempted to move closer to the Mona Lisa, but as my movements were somewhat half-hearted and as I was not attempting to photograph the painting itself, I was brutally shoved to the back by an approaching gang of tourists.  (Pet peeve - people photographing the art in a museum - don't bother, just buy a postcard, the museum pays professionals to take those pictures and you won't offend me, which is most important, obviously).

Loads of tourists were gaga over everything by da Vinci.  I say blah - his may have the sfumato technique down but I think his figures are insipid.  They always look so pleased with themselves: like if they were real people they would be total jerks.

This was my favorite gallery, architecture-wise.  Mostly because its gilded.  The galleries were really hot and stuffy inside, as most of the Louvre has little- to no-climate control.  The 19th-century French galleries were unbearable and crowded, while the Italian Renaissance was less busy.  The 16th-century Dutch gallery was nearly empty and cool.  That meant I could gaze upon the two Vermeers there totally unimpeded and leave the Mona Lisa to the masses.

And what is that in the background?  Could it be my next Parisian destination?


mamamia4859 said...

Thank you for the glimpse of the Mona Lisa. I agree that the postcard is the way to go, but I liked the way you captured her in the background. Glad you had a great time in Paris. I cannot imagine that anyone would have an awful time there!

Liang said...

Pity, I so had wanted to bring my poodle onto the escalator in the Louvre! I love those little pictogram things as well, some are so funny. I laugh all the time at ones that caution you to be careful not to slip; the stick figure with legs flailing in the air is just too funny.

That eclair was awesome. But I have my sights on begging you to bring back some stroopwafels for us to try! If you just bring home one package, you can send a single stroopwafel to all your friends--it's economical! Dara says that she wants some too.