Rainy day 7 was spent primarily at the Louvre. Overwhelming, immense, claustrophobically crowded, and over the top in every way possible, who can visit Paris without a visit to the Louvre?
The apartments of Napoleon III were luckily open and were awe inducing even after the splendors of Fountainbleu. The Grand Salon, seen above, reminded me of a hotel lobby in scale and how I would have loved to have had a drink there!
It was fascinating to see the furniture of Madame Recamier (including HER recamier) as well as numerous portraits of her including the famous one by David. The museum is so immense it is difficult to even follow the maps given upon entering under the Pei Pyramid but treasures abound around every corner. While the highlights of the museum such as the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, the Venus de Milo, etc., draw huge and overwhelming crowds, other parts of the museum are quieter and cafes are to be found in all sorts of corners for museum breaks.
I think the biggest surprise upon seeing many of the paintings I studied back in art history school is that many of the paintings by David and others of that time period are LIFE SIZE if not larger! 'The Consecration of the Emporer Napoleon' must be at least 30feet long and 20feet high. Vertically challenged Napoleon never looked so big.
The stairwells are so large that you would think you were in Grand Central or some other train station. They provide excellent meeting points however and many have cafes or small gift shops.
Rounding the corner on my escape, I was shocked to see both of Michelangelo's slaves with no one paying any attention to them. It was a joy to be able to study them closely without being jostled about.
'Winged Victory' flies over a palatial set of stairs, straight out of Funny Face; The only thing missing was Fred Astaire! A quick run over to the Marais for last minute shopping (I'm keeping Mariage Freres in business) before a quiet night at home and packing rounds out this magical trip. I hope you've enjoyed my daily recaps and find something useful for your own trip to the city of lights!