My first view of the Louvre was just as I was emerging from the metro station on Rue de Rivoli. The blackness of the Richelieu passage beckoned. Once inside the passage, I could see the glass pyramid entrance rising from the courtyard ahead. Surrounded by this former palace of Kings of France, I was eagerly awaiting my audience.
We arrived before the museum opened, and were admitted in a great rush – people jostling around, all rushing downward beneath the pyramid into a great cavern-like space, past the ticket booth and then up an escalator, through a checkpoint, down a hall, turn, hall, stairs, turn. Where are we going? I don’t know, just follow the mob!
The whole scene is rather crazy when you take a moment to think about it. People literally running past art that is hundreds, thousands of years old, canvasses covering up to thirty feet of wall at a time, through architecture that in and of itself is art. Just to see a single canvas, slightly less than 2×3 feet, sitting lonely on a wall. She actually shares the room with a few dozen other paintings, but no one is here to see them. Only her.
Frankly, I’m not much of an art person. The Mona Lisa and the Venus De Milo are probably the only two pieces that I knew were in the Louvre, but only because I had looked it up earlier. To me, the wonder of The Louvre is that it exists at all – over 600,000 square feet of a former palace of Kings now dedicated to the preservation of thousands of years of art for the world to share.
That’s kinda impressive.
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