Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Louvre Privé

A private tour of the Louvre in the day time is something kind of special and quite possibly one of my favourite bits of our big French adventure by grey goose, especially when the tour guide is one of the directors in there and knows everything . . . this possibly is a case of pictures speaking much louder than words when walking down the corriders of the former palace we did not queue nor bump into anybody and mumble under our breath "augh, excusez moi."

I spent a good two hours with the hairs on my arms standing up as I walked down the corridors and let the history of the world as captured through magnificent specimens of art talk to me, and our guide explain some of the stories behind specific works. The Louvre is closed to the public on Tuesdays so this really is the day for maintenance as well as for private tours, of which there is special clearance and badges required.


One of Fabrice's favourite works is this Italian renaissance piece for its complexity and how it tells a complete story, very early propoganda for the order of the Benedictine monks.

Another which is this Fragonard painting, to this day, art historians are still confounded as to whether the blonde was willing and just playing innocent or was coerced into an affair with handsome dark man. I agree with Fabrice and think she was completely willing and rather enjoyed herself (tuls tuls).

There are lots of animals in the works of the renaissance masters . . . here you have a parrot speaking to a cat.

Typically for us and our bad luck, the Denon gallary with La Jaconde or Mona Lisa and Venus di Milo was closed . . .so we did not get to stare at her eye to eye without a mob.

Access STRICTLY forbidden

That was ok though because I got to re-enact for a moment how it would feel like to be Queen Mary de Medici as she comes out of her secret door where she elevates herself to Goddess status through the story that Ruben's masterpieces tell, she compares herself to Mary and other powerful women in the past, immaculate works of propaganda and a collaboration between a queen and a master, Rubens.

the dark patch is where the door once was

The goddess Nike in all her glory.

Then we went to the apartment of Napoleon III (which then became the Ministry of Finance), it is funny always how in history the establishment is destroyed to only be replaced with a new establishment which ends up behaving the same way as the former establishment and aspiring to have the same things . . . all that gold and all those crystals explains it all. It was designed by Visconti and links the Palais to the Tuileries.

The apartment houses wonderful artifacts, some very exotic ones at that and has kept with all its former glory the interiors, one can almost imagine the parties that went on there.

The immensity and significance of the Louvre when you have close to a private audience with her is very powerful, it makes you feel very small and in fact agaisnt all of that work, one is pretty small.

Lynn in the sculpture garden

A visit to Mesopotamia

The juxtaposition of all that history with IM Pei's pyramid is what then sheds light on a country that understands making history relevant and housing it as such.

The sculpture garden - once a parking lot

Lynn, Fabrice and I

What is crazy is what we see, is only a slice of what the museum owns, all that work is a country in itself and a rather beautiful one at that.

1 comment: