Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Louvre staircases: It's a factor of scale

The Louvre is totally overwhelming; Not just the collections which are astounding but the sheer scale of the building.
The entry under the I.M.Pei pyramid is probably the most stressful place in all of Paris. Not just because of the crowds but the pickpocket warning signs posted EVERYWHERE are rather disconcerting.
Once you enter the museum itself you can find pockets of calm, such as in the Marly Courtyard above.
The most amazing thing in the building to my eye are the numerous staircases.  Even the smallest of these, such as the Lafuel staircase, are on an enormous scale.
Here you can take a deep breath away from the crowds and just enjoy the beautiful building.
Because you step out of the stairways and even on a weekday this is what you encounter; hoards of people RUSHING towards you!
The Daru staircase is also of an immense public scale. It reminds me of a drawing by M.C. Escher.
And of course the tourists with their cameras (who cannot look at an artwork EXCEPT through the eye of their camera lens for whatever reason) are continually falling down the stair or else stepping on you.
The vantage points through these spaces are amazing.
I think much of this architectural detailing is overlooked in favor of the amazing collection of artwork. Save a day for art and a day for architectural looking perhaps?
The LaFuel courtyard is unfortunately not open to the public although visible from the galleries inside. Wouldn't this make a great cafe?
Loved the columns on the porte cochere above.
Speaking of cafes this staircase had a lovely cafe ringing its upper level.
Wouldn't you love to have a meal here? It must be one of the prettiest cafes in all of Paris (and thats saying something).
The ceiling decorations throughout are amazing.
And all of the abundance of natural light keeps the museum from feeling too cold.
What have your impressions of the Louvre been on your visits? Are there certains days to go which are better than others?