The Louvre, Art and Artifact

Was that just yesterday when the stairs didn’t seem to end, the crowds never slowed and the art, well, the art seemed infinite?  Eventually, we had to call it a day just to digest all that we’d seen.  From the Renaissance, to ancient Greece, to ancient Egypt to Napoleon’s  apartments.

The scale of the physical building was more than I recalled from when I last visited some twenty years ago.  Immense, grand, over-the-top are a few words that come to mind.

Here are a few of the things that we saw…

Louvre and glass pyramid The hour line-up to get in was really much less than an hour, and you can make the time go by more quickly if you play some standard queueing games… we made up a few.  The wait was well worth it!

Da Vinci, St. John the Baptist, Louvre collectionI tried to remember all that I could to pass onto my son, who was with me, so that he might appreciate some aspects of the works we saw.  Noticing the gestures used by the subjects in each of the paintings; how these draw the attention of the viewer into a triangle into the painting, allowing one to linger longer in the work, the balance of the forms, the detail, and of course the subject matter.

The Mona Lisa at the LouvreWe lingered for quite some time in the painting galleries before going back into sculpture…

Marble sculpture of Mercury at the LouvreI have a soft spot for marble sculptures, especially those depicting ancient Greek and Roman Mythology.

Neptune in Marble at the LouvreAnd here is a detail of the same work:

Neptune detail marble at the LouvreI am in awe of the skill demonstrated by the artists that created these beautiful works.  The artistic ability as well as the fortitude to see a work like this through to completion.  I believe that there is still a place for both beauty and mythology in our contemporary world of art, yet I suspect I may be alone on this one…


I am also fond of artifacts, even if my knowledge is light in the area, the sheer fact that people crafted objects that have survived for more than a thousand years.  If we could take this knowledge and look at our current practices and inform our actions; we make things that will last more than a thousand years whether we it to or not (think radio-active waste material) and we make things that are too temporary, but could last longer (think the quality of some of our buildings, our trinkets, any single-use item like plastic water-bottles).artifact at the louvre bull house post

Look as we did at the detail of the markings on the stones, the language inscribed, all I could do was to appreciate the fine penmanship… for read it I could not.

Link to more photos from this visit:

stone text at the louvre


1 Comment

Filed under art and artifact, Louvre, Paris

One response to “The Louvre, Art and Artifact

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