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Snapshots of Paris

overcast 40 °F

This is going to be a bit of a hodgepodge (is that one word or two-or is it even a word?). I am going to violate chronology a bit as well, probably. Suffice it to say that Paris will do that to you. Which amazing thing are you going to be seeing/eating/smelling next? So here we go.....

I went to the Louvre. It's not a museum, it's a career. It is enormous and despite a large number of Royally commissioned items of monumental sculpture, there is plenty of great stuff to keep one engaged for a very long time. So I'm going to ignore the big stuff and just pull up some smaller bits that caught my eye.

First cool thing - they have carefully restored some of the Medieval elements of the Louvre (the roots of the building date to the 13th century) and you can wander around down there. The conical structure below is the base of the original dungeon. The neon is scattered throughout the restored area for reasons that remain obscure to me.

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Second thing - this place is crowded! I can only imagine what it must be like during tourist season. Seriously, Paris is plenty crowded with tourists at the usual tourist spots in November. The good news is that they tend to cluster around the big 3 at the Louvre (Venus de Milo, Winged Victory of Samothrace and Her Nibs) so places like the medieval sculpture gallery are pretty empty of people but full of some interesting pieces. I liked these two; one for its vigor and the other for her expressive face, often not thought to be a feature of Medieval art.

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A few baby pictures. This is a Reubens, a guy known to delight in round, pink, fleshy ladies - here he goes hog-wild with round, pink, fleshy babies.

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And I liked these two kids from two adjacent portraits by Van Dyck- they were much more interesting than the grownups.

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Sigh, I guess I might as well throw in a picture of Her Nibs - enjoy....

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You want to come back in August and check out that scene again? Didn't think so.

On another day (not sure which one) I also visited the Musee d'Orsay. This was the place where the Impressionists got started, hoping to be exhibited here so that someday they might get a call up to The Bigs, i.e. the Louvre. They needn't have worried; the Musee is magnificent and has a fabulous collection - that you can't photograph.

I did sneak one photo of a not-artwork. There is a small exhibit on the evolution of Paris as a city and in particular, how, at the instigation of Napoleon III, a fellow named Georges-Eugène Haussmann was given every planner's dream - complete freedom to knock down whatever he felt like knocking down and building whatever he felt like building. Indeed, the wonderful broad boulevards and much of Paris' current beauty is the outcome of his efforts. Of course, there was some dissent and this poster that I snapped kind of reminded me of the world of the planning commissioner (me being one, of course).

The other picture is of Napolean III's apartments which have been restored in the Louvre - I guess we can thank him for upscale hotel lobbies everywhere....

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Well, this is going on a bit more than I planned. Think I'll make it a series of snapshots - stay tuned.

Posted by tdeits 11:40 Archived in France Tagged museums paris plants lisa mona Comments (0)

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