Why is everybody naked? and other pertinent questions

After meeting up with a good friend who is studying at the Sorbonne, I headed to the Louvre museum.  It was late in the afternoon so I zipped by the security line and got my ticket despite the crowds.   I was expecting a madhouse, but it was relatively calm, especially away from the bigger attractions.  Maybe I was a little cultured-out, but I found myself generally more intrigued by everything that surrounded the big-name pieces like the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo rather than those pieces themselves.  Don’t get me wrong, those pieces are famous for good reason, but the Louvre is MASSIVE and filled with so much more.  It would take decades to properly examine all the works held within the complex.  The building itself is spectacular, befitting its history as a royal palace.  The variety of visitors I discovered inside was fascinating, as were the snippets of conversation I intercepted while slipping between the rooms.   I ambled through the 16th to 19th century Italian sculptures gallery, stopping to admire the bust of some notable Roman when a child of maybe 4 or 5 standing next to me turned to the man holding his hand and whispered solemnly, “Grandpa?  Why is everybody naked?”

The Winged Victory of Samothrace

It is impossible to forget that the Louvre was once the royal palace.  The grand arches, gorgeous floors, spectacular ceilings and endless hallways remind us of this fact.

That's it! the hubbub around the Mona Lisa (La Joconde)

… and really, that’s all there is.  I ended up feeling bad for the other paintings in the room that were not getting nearly enough attention relative to their quality.

Fashion-wise, the consensus seemed to be black, dark colors, and neutrals, most chic women wearing black or brown boots, though the most interesting colors came from the coats that visitors were wearing or carrying over their arms.  I saw a lot of black, burnt sienna, navy, and deep evergreen tops as well as chunky cream or grey sweaters.

Psyche and Cupid by A. Canova surrounded by a tour group, who weren't really looking at the statue at all but instead watched their guide gesticulate wildly in explaining this infamous piece.

"La bataille d'Eylau" by Antoine-Jean Gros

"Liberty Leading the People" by Eugene Delacroix

a new favorite: "Veiled Woman" by Antonio Corradini

The inverted pyramid. Is it sad that I only know about this spot because of Dan Brown's "The DaVinci Code"?

The Louvre at night

The Pyramids



Filed under France

2 responses to “Why is everybody naked? and other pertinent questions

  1. Post-Software

    The African masks were my favorite part from the Louvre. The Mona Lisa has been photographed, copied, and used so many times, it’s become near meaningless. To see it in person is like finding the center of an endless mirrored maze, as if to find the source and being so close to being able to change it if it wasn’t for the bullet proof glass.

  2. Pingback: Père Lachaise Cemetery | The Cultural Sponge

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