Since I’m such a HUGE art lover (if you couldn’t already tell by my weekly visits to the Art Institute of Chicago or by all the art exhibits I’ve posted about in the past), I knew that visiting The Louvre was one of my TOP priorities while I was in Paris (it was basically tied with Disneyland Paris as a MUST DO while on my trip). During my ten days in Paris, I decided to dedicate one whole day to exploring The Louvre. Even though I spent six straight hours at The Louvre (I actually spent a total of seven hours there but after the first hour I decided to make a quick trip to the Notre-Dame Cathedral, since they are so close to each other, before spending the rest of the day at The Louvre), I still felt like it wasn’t enough time. The Louvre is HUGE and even six (technically seven) hours there isn’t enough to cover every hall and exhibit. Strategy wise, I decided to pick out a few paintings and sculptures I knew I really wanted to see (like the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo) and after I made sure I saw them all, I just roamed the museum freely. The funny thing is, I actually fell in love with The Louvre before I even stepped foot inside the museum. The outside of The Louvre is absolutely breathtaking. The statues, the view of the Eiffel Tower in the distance, the museums architecture, it was all so beautiful. I can’t even begin to put it into words. It was like stepping into a history book. I’ve wanted to visit The Louvre ever since I was a little girl so finally getting to see it in person was like a dream come true!
I’ve always been a huge fan of ancient Greek sculptures and I must say, the Aphrodite of Milos, aka the Venus de Milo, was even more gorgeous in person!
Speaking of amazing greek sculptures, how gorgeous is the Winged Victory of Samothrace?
I’ve had quite a few people ask me “How were you able to get a picture of the Mona Lisa?” or “How did you sneak a photo of Mona Lisa?”. Like most art museums, you ARE allowed to take photos throughout The Louvre. I’ve heard in the past (from people who visited the museum years ago) that photo weren’t allowed but I’m guessing that rule has changed because museum guards and security were assuring everyone that photos were fine. There were even people going close to the Mona Lisa (who is behind glass) and taking selfies with it. So no, I didn’t “sneak a photo of Mona Lisa”, photos were allowed. Although photos were allowed (expect in special exhibits), flash was NOT allowed (which is understandable!). I will say this though, there was sort of a line to take a picture of the Mona Lisa. I noticed that the more popular art pieces (like the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo) always had bigger crowds around them (which is to be expected).
The Louvre had this gorgeous sculpture garden (well, at least that’s what I’m calling it) in-between the difference buildings/museum halls and I literally wanted to stay there until the museum closed. It was just so peaceful and beautiful!
Before I left for Paris, I did a lot of research on which days were the best/least busiest day to visit The Louvre. Although most people suggested NOT visiting on weekends, I also read that it didn’t really matter which day of the week you visited because the museum is ALWAYS crowded. Well, it must have been my lucky day because the museum was basically EMPTY on the day I visited (a Thursday!). There were times were I felt like I had the museum entirely to myself. In fact, I’d even go as far as saying that on a scale of 1 to 10, the crowd level was a 1 on the day I visited (talk about pure luck!).
You see what I mean? EMPTINESS! I loved having The Louvre practically to myself because I got to really get up close and personal with the artwork without having to worry about other people being there. It was heavenly!
The Monkey Antiquarian is seriously one of my FAVORITE paintings right now (my favorite will ALWAYS be Van Gogh’s The Bedroom, of course). Fun fact: Monkeys are my favorite animals and I actually have a rather large collection of monkey plushies and figurines!
Being the huge Coldplay fan that I am (they just so happen to be my favorite band and they have been since I was seven), I was super excited to see Liberty Leading the People (aka the artwork they used for the Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends album cover) in person! Speaking of Coldplay, I can’t wait to see them live this summer (in July!).
Although I LOVED every bit of The Louvre, nothing wowed me as much as the Napoleon III Apartments: Small and Large Dining Rooms exhibit. Wow. Just WOW! It was unbelievable! Getting to walk through a live-size replica of Napoleon’s apartment was seriously the highlight of the entire visit!
Funny story, finding the Great Sphinx of Tanis was almost impossible! There were all these signs leading this way and that way and they all seemed to lead in the wrong direction. At this point in the day, I had been at the museum for almost six hours straight and since the museums was closing soon, I thought I’d just have to wait until my next visit to The Louvre to get the chance to see it. Then, all of sudden, I turned the corner toward the exit and BAM, I came face to face with the Great Sphinx of Tanis! I’m so glad I got to see it!
Have you ever visited The Louvre before? Any fellow art lovers out there? Make sure to check out more art exhibit and art museums posts HERE!