My first trip to the Louvre was over ten years ago. We wandered all over the place until we found the room with the Mona Lisa, which was naturally surrounded by people. I walked in the doorway, stood on tiptoe, and said, “Okay, I’ve seen it, can we go now?”
So I’m told. I really have no recollection of my first visit to the Louvre. However, tonight marks my second visit to the Louvre. For my money, the outside is the best part. Especially the pyramid. That is way cool.
I went with my friend (and neighbor) Nicky, who actually likes art (I’m not saying this is a bad thing, I’m just saying I don’t care that much about art), and we decided to pick one gallery to check out. We chose paintings by French and Northern European painters (Rembrandt, Vermeer and their contemporaries, who have names like von Hooch and von Loo). The first couple of rooms were mostly religious paintings, and while the detailing is really exquisite, especially when you consider what kind of technology they had available and the materials they used, here were my reactions:
Tell me the Monty Python crew never saw that.
Hey look! It’s Jesus’ feet!
Then we moved into more realistic paintings–lots of still-lifes of dead animals (probably later eaten) and kitchen utensils. It’s all kind of a blur, so here are some pictures I took.
I can tell undoubted Raphaels from Gerard Dows and Zoffanies,
I know the croaking chorus from The Frogs of Aristophanes,
Then I can hum a fugue for which I’ve heard the music’s din afore…
Hey, look! It’s my room at the Fondation! (Kidding. I promise. My room is covered in laundry, not alchemical supplies…)
View out the window of the gallery. Way more exciting than Dutch paintings–of which there are WAY TOO MANY.
After what felt like about thirty rooms of the same thing over and over again, Nicky and I agreed to make our way to the exit. The Louvre has kind of a soporific effect. It took forever, but we made it out into the air again, and made our way to the Rue St. Honoré, where Nicky had a crèpe and I had cider from Normandy.
And it was a good hair day to boot, because I finally stopped being a skinflint and bought myself some curl gel. C’est magnifique!