Tackling The Louvre

Fri, Jul 10, 2009

France, Paris

Even if the thought of looking at art has you reaching for your cell phone to play a game of Tetris, visitors to Paris must see the Musée du Louvre.


It’s not as boring as your high school art teacher made it seem.  And unlike other museums, the Louvre isn’t as cold and clinical as your doctor’s office.

The Louvre is the world’s largest palace and each room, containing tons of world famous sculptures and paintings, is impressively unique.  In fact, sometimes the rooms are more fascinating than the art hanging on the walls, so don’t forget to look up!

How Long Do I Need In The Louvre?

Art aficionados say you literally need days to look at all of the 35,000 objects packed inside.  But you can hit the highlights in 2 to 3 hours.


The museum has three wings, but all the important stuff is in the Denon wing, which is on the right after you go through the main entrance inside the glass pyramid.

What’s There To See In The Louvre?

The Women of The Louvre.

Winged Victory


She doesn’t have a head.  Or arms.  But this marble sculpture of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, is famous for its dramatically realistic depiction of rippling clothing contouring her body.  Best of all, now you know what that Nike on your shoes means.

Venus De Milo


Again with the statues with no arms.  This statue of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, is famous for its juxtaposition of smooth skin against textured clothing, and the harmonious balance of her S-shaped body.  We say she’s more famous for inspiring the only female Ninja Turtle.


Mona Lisa


Even from the back of the room, where Mona Lisa is the size of a postage stamp, she’s so striking and so captivating, she drew us in like those crafty pitchmen at Costco.  We joined hundreds of other visitors behind a 10-foot barrier to decode the mystery behind her enigmatic smile.  No luck, but I still think she’s smirking because she’s not wearing any pants.


If there’s one thing we realized about Mona Lisa, it’s that she’s a lot like that infamous ex we all have:  she’s nice to look at… but she’s undeniably creepy.  She has these piercing brown eyes that seem to follow you around a room.

Here’s some other highlights…

The Wedding At Cana


Standing in front of this 21-foot high, 32-foot wide painting is kinda like playing Where’s Waldo?  Can you find Jesus turning water into wine?  Hint: he’s dead center.

The Raft Of Medusa


This painting packs more of an emotional punch in 5 minutes of looking at it than most movies do in 2 hours.  That’s more than we can say for “Waterworld”.

Liberty Leading The People


Even showing some skin, Lady Liberty is the biggest, tallest, most powerful person in this landscape of war.

The Coronation Of Napoleon


The best part about looking at this epic painting is checking out the various facial expressions of each person as they watch Napoleon declare himself Emperor of France.  Let’s just say not everyone is about it.

La Grande Odalisque


Her face, her skin color, her setting — it all seems realistic and natural.  Except for that the fact that this lady is built like a mutant.  She’s got about three vertebrae too many and a rear end that puts Kim Kardashian to shame.


St. Francis Of Assisi Receiving The Stigmata


We know this painting is supposed to depict the Italian monk receiving the stigmata from Jesus.  But really, it looks like a comic book where Jesus and St. Francis battle each other with laser beams.

Galerie d’Apollon and The Crown Jewels Of France


How Long Does It Take To Get Into The Louvre?

We heard horror stories about people growing old while waiting in line.  But it wasn’t bad early in the morning when the museum first opened at 9.


If it looks crowded when you get there, consider alternate entrances.  They won’t be as pretty as the glass pryamid, but they’ll get you in faster.  The quickest entrance is in the Carrousel du Louvre underground shopping mall.  There’s also an entrance at the Porte de Lions gate at the southwest corner (though sometimes it’s closed).

Get ticket information, check hours of information, and learn more about the Louvre’s prized possessions here.

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