I knew the Louvre was going to be huge. I knew the 7 hours I planned to spend there wasn’t going to be nearly enough. But I never thought I’d walk away after seeing something for 7 hours and feeling like I saw nothing. The Louvre is the biggest museum in the world with over thousands of square feet of space and millions of exhibits. It houses pieces from classical times to the 19th century. Even with two maps, I got lost wandering the hallways. I had to double back a few times because I ended up in random rooms. The museum is just too big! After 7 hours wandering the Louvre for Da Vinci’s Code, all I could think was a) I hardly feel like I saw anything and b) the Louvre is a bit overrated.
Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. My art interests lie in three places: 1) 18th century Dutch works, 2) Impressionism, and 3) Post-Impressionism/Pointillism. There is a small amount of Dutch art over in the Louvre but overall, it’s not my cup of tea. Don’t get me wrong – The Louvre has many great works of art. There are many masterpieces that deserve your attention and no matter what your art preference is, you should at least see the Louvre for a day to get a feel for its size, collection, and place in the world.
That being said, I wouldn’t go back to the Louvre. I saw what I wanted to see. Why should you go back to a place you aren’t interested in? I’m going to save the debate about whether or not there are really any truly “must sees” in the world of personal preference but I’ll say that Louvre is worth a visit but a return visit really depends on what you consider art. Seeing a lot of religious paintings and Greco-Roman statues is not my idea of art. What art did I see that I liked? The highlights of the Louvre for me were:
The Winged Victory- I just really liked the work on this statue.
The Apollo Gallery- The detail on the ceiling and the opulence of the room impressed me.
Venus De Milo- It’s the Venus De Milo!
Virgin on the Rocks- I love Leonardo paintings and this famous one is interesting to me because of the supposed hidden messages in it. This is an earlier version of this painting. He supposedly had to redo it because it was deemed anti-christian. The later version is in the National Gallery in London.
The Mona Lisa- It was bigger than a I thought but I didn’t like how the 5 inches of glass reflects so much light that it was hard to see and this was the best photo I could get!
The Marriage at Cana- The size, color, and detail interest me here.
The Coronation of Napoleon- This is the biggest canvas the Louvre has. Maybe Napoleon was compensating for his size when he had it commissioned? Who knows. But I do know is that I love the detail and the grandeur of this painting. It’s impressive.
I forget the name of this painting. I just like it. It’s simple.
Same goes with this one. Forgot the name but I also like simplistic beauty in the painting.
Liberty Leading the Way- This is a classic image of the French Revolution. Liberty is uniting all walks of life against tyranny. I’ve seen this painting in a few books and it was good to see it in real life.
I enjoyed seeing these works of art. I enjoyed going to the Louvre. But while getting lost among the hallways were fun, I think, at least for me, the Louvre was a one time visit. It was good to see but the multitude of impressionist museums in Paris will have my repeat business.