Monday, March 28, 2016

The Louvre Museum in Paris

Paris, without a doubt, is an enchanting and a very romantic city which any decent traveler, must visit.
There is so much beauty and history in the city that it literally sweeps you off your feet, during your very first glimpse.
Aside from its sheer elegance, Paris boasts of so much history and it is reflected in the city’s well-preserved buildings, sculptures and street art.
It is therefore not surprising that Paris is home to one of the most important museums in the world: The incomparable Louvre Museum.
From its beginnings as a fortress in the 12th century, it was transformed into a royal palace housing some of King Francis I’s most precious art collection in the 16th century. Since then, it has seen several expansions and now, it is considered as the preeminent art center in the world, attracting approximately six millions of visitors annually.
The Italian Painting Section
The Louvre Museum is also one of the biggest museums in the world in terms of space, occupying a total of 60,600 square meters trust me, its huge!!!!).
It has been reported that the Louvre museums contains more than a million works of art but only a mere fraction of them are on display due to security and practical reasons. Among the most famous works of arts you will find here is THE one and only MONA LISA, Venus de Milo and the Nike of Samothrace.
There are three ways to enter the Louvre. There is the Louvre Pyramids (introduced in the 1980s), the Carrousel de Louvre or the Pontes de Lions (this is actually a secret entrance. No lines, people).
Pontes des Lions
After passing the main entrances, you will have access to the museum’s three main sections: The Sully, Richielieu and Denon wings.
The arts displayed in the museum are also separated according to several classification such as Near Eastern Antiquities, Egyptian Antiquities, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Islamic Art, Sculptures, Decorative Arts, Paintings, and Prints and Drawings.
Because of its sheer size, it is really impossible to see everything. During my visit, I spent four hours walking around the museum and I still missed a lot of important artifacts and works of arts.
So in the interest of brevity, I will mention that most famous works of arts in the Louvre’s main wings.
The Sully Wing 
The best thing in this section of the Louvre is the massive collection of Egyptian antiquities.

Sure, it’s nothing compared to the collections in Cairo (duh), but the Louvre’s stash of Egyptian artifacts is still impressive. I saw lots of statuettes by Isis, Osiris and Horus. But I think the highlight is the huge statue of Pharaoh Rameses II.
the Egyptian Antiquities
the Egyptian Antiquities
Rameses II
Rameses II
Aphrodite’s most famous sculpture “Venus de Milo” can also be found in the Sully Wing. It was discovered in 1820 in the island of Melos and has since been a beloved remnant of the ancient Greek civilization.

Venus de Milo
The Richelieu Wing 
If you are into classical paintings, the Richelieu wing will definitely enthrall you. Here you will find masterpieces from true masters. My favorites in this wing are paintings by Rembrandt.
You can find here the intricately designed Napoleon III apartments, which is a throwback to the old glamour of the Louvre back when it was still being used as a palace.

The Denon Wing
Of course, this is completely subjective but I feel like the Denon Wing is the powerhouse area of the Louvre.

This is where you will find the most famous and most recognizable work of art in the world. You guessed it right. It’s THE MONA LISA. A painting my Senior Leonardo Da Vinci, the Mona Lisa is given a whole wall given the throngs of people who come to visit it.

I was surprised to find our that the Mona Lisa is actually a small painting,relative to its fame .
The Very popular Mona Lisa
The Very popular Mona Lisa
Another highlight is the Consecration of Emperor Napoleon I by Jacques Louis David (I bought a copy to display on my desk).
Consecration of Napoleon I
Consecration of Napoleon I
The Denon Wing also boasts of the ‘Winged Victory of Samothrace, a 2nd century BC marble statue of Nike, the goddess of victory.It is considered as one of the best examples of Hellenistic sculpture largely because of the artful display of movement as displayed in the billowing clothes, and wings.
Winged Victory of Samothrace
You can also find in the Denon Wing, Michael Angelo’s “The Dying Slave”. This section of the Louvre also features a collection of Roman and Etruscan antiquities as well as a collection of sculptures from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century. It also features artifacts from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. Medieval sculptures from Europe are displayed on the lower ground floor of the Denon wing.

Visiting the Louvre
Under the Louvre Pyramid
Under the Louvre Pyramid
Visiting the Louvre is definitely one of the highlights of any visit to Paris and I recommend for everyone to come visit it at least once in their life.

The Louvre is open every day but Tuesday and the following holidays: Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and International Workers’ Day (May 1). The hours are: Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.