The Masses

This is my last post on the Louvre, and its point is to illustrate that the Louvre is not as empty as the previous posts suggested. I was quite lucky to have been able to take the shots I took with a minimal amount of people in the frames, but that took quite the patience!

This test of patience already begins on entering the Louvre. Often enough you will have to stand a while outside, queueing up with lots of people (this can take a significant portion of your day) and waiting your turn. The queue moves steadily, but it still feels as if you’re standing around forever. Upon finally entering the glass pyramid, you will have to go through a fast security check with checking of bags etc. And after a brief trip down with an escalator, you will find yourself below the glass pyramid in the reception area.

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Usually it is a little more crowded than in the photo, but there are several booths where you can buy tickets and get a hold of a floor plan. So this part actually goes rather fast! From there, it’s onward to the different wings to find whatever you fancy to see as Rune and I have done. Most people however, make a beeline towards a certain painting before moving on to other works.

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The wing where the Mona Lisa is, is by far the most crowded of them all. There is the above long corridor, and the Mona Lisa will be in a room on the right. It is easy to find, it is the room where everybody seems to be headed, plus the room has its gravity point slightly opposite the entrance to the room.

I had seen the painting before and was quite disappointed then, so I told Rune he could have a look at it (if he could get nearby that is) while I would pay attention to our bags. After a while Rune came back, he hadn’t come very close, and said it was a disappointing experience. With the fame surrounding this painting, you get there thinking it will be epic, but the reality is that it is a tiny painting (honest!). There are other works in this wing that are just as interesting, if not more.

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1. Vierge à l’Enfant (Anonyme milanais d’après Léonard de Vinci), 2. La Morte de Cléopátre (Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli), 3. La Vierge allaitant l’Enfant (Marco da Oggiono)

These works for instance, were mostly ignored. They were directly left of the entrance to the room with the Mona Lisa. I don’t think Cleopatra died exactly as depicted, but artist’s interpretation I guess. Nobody seemed to glance at this odd painting, they were all busy rushing in and out of the room. I was basically the only one eyeing it while waiting for Rune.

When visiting the Louvre, go see the Mona Lisa. But do see other works (there are paintings that are bigger in square meters than some of your rooms) and the details in the wings themselves (the ceilings, the doors), because it has so much more to offer than just that tiny painting…

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One thought on “The Masses

  1. The reputation of the Mona Lisa precedes it. I think that is why it can be a bit of a let down to see it live with hundreds of people jostling you for position, just wanting to tick it off their “to do” list.

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