Here it is, The Louvre. Originally built in the 12th century as a fortress, it has been expanded many times. A palace to Kings until 1682 when Louis XIV moved to Versailles, it was opened as a public gallery during the French Revolution. In 1983, French President, Francois Mitterrand proposed a large renovation project, one that gave us The Louvre as we know it today.
Enter by stepping into the glass pyramid designed by architect I.M. Pei and taking an escalator down into the lobby. You can wait in a long line to purchase your ticket from a real person, but the machines are quicker and have an option for English.
This is my third visit to The Louvre and I still get lost. There are three wings but it seems there are always galleries closed so you can’t easily get from one wing to the next. I think I’ve finally figured out that you need to go back to the pyramid to change wings.
Of course, the most famous painting in the Louvre is the Mona Lisa (La Joconde). After winding your way up staircases and through one gallery after the next you arrive at Salon 6 where she resides. You turn the corner and . . .
there are a lot of people and she is very small and all the way at the back of the gallery. She hangs behind a wall of glass and you can’t get closer than 10 feet if you can squeeze your way through the crowd, but she is lovely and I never tired of finding her.
Of course, in a museum with as expansive of a collection as The Louvre has it’s always fun to look for . . .
Odd portraits like this little boy with his dog, only his face looks like he’s an old man . . .
Or creapy looking scoundrels grabbing for money . . .
Would you believe there is one of a large naked woman getting a pedicure . . .
And then there’s the one of the angry little brother complaining to his sister . . .
Last but not least, the vegetable people.