Sunday, May 19, 2013

Paris vacation - day 7

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!


Windlost said...

I have enjoyed them! I love the Louvre and spent many days there but you know I've never seen the Venus. I do love Madame Recamier and the Winged Victory. When I first saw the Mona Lisa in 1991 it was in a small room and I had her all to myself (well, maybe 6 others). It was the middle of winter so crowds were thin. When I went back, they had moved her to that huge room, for the crowds I guess. So glad you got a day at the Louvre and saw some interesting sights. I always stop at Mariage Freres too and smell all the teas...

xo Terri

Karen Albert said...

Stefan I would love to be right there with you!!

Come with me on my adventure in France.
life, possibilities, grace
a beautiful dream...

Art by Karena

Tigrasa said...

Woa Louvre! You are a lucky man! :D
I wish to visit Paris and Louvre! :D
One day I will ^_^
These photos are great! Love them!
I found your blog by googleing "architecture blog" because I wanted to read about some architecture (I am architect, young one :D ) I was bored and I found your blog. I bookmarked it and I will wisit it always. I checked your posts and they are amasing! :D

I also have architecture blog, but I mostly post pictures. I started it couple of moths ago :/
Do you like it?
Modern Architecture

Mark D. Ruffner said...

Hi, Stefan - I'm enjoying seeing Paris through your eyes (I was there only passing through the airport!!).

My understanding of David's painting of Napoleon's coronation was that it was designed so large to accommodate the large crowds who came to view it, to experience the coronation for themselves — no YouTube in those days!

darrin said...

Sounds like a simply lovely trip!!

Leah Moss said...

love coming along on your trips Stefan!

The Devoted Classicist said...

The rooms of the Napoleon III were really dusty the last time I was there. I suppose it made them more "period". Fun to see, none-the-less.

smilla4blogs said...

Stefan, I can't tell you how much I appreciate your Paris posts! We are going in July!

Bart Boehlert said...

Hi Stefan, I enjoyed reading about your trip! Have been to many of these places so it is nice to see them again, plus I got some new ideas -
It makes me want to go immediately!

peephorn said...

Nice blog. FYI Napoleon's residence is "Fontainbleau", which is pronounced like "Fontainblo", whereas the hotel in Miami is pronounced as you spelled it, "Fontainbleu".