Friday, August 12, 2005

The Richelieu Wing

As I mentioned in today's other post, Je l'Ai Fini (Harry Potter Book 6), I spent Wednesday at the Louvre.
The first thing I did upon arrival? I bought the Carte Jeune (Youth Pass). It's available to anyone under 26 and costs 15 euros. It is valid for one year and includes admission to all permanent and temporary !!! exhibits everyday (and special night openings), and qualifies you for discounts on any other special events. And, twice/week when the museum is open at night, I get to bring a friend for free! It allows you to enter from a special VIP entrance (no waiting in line) and basically pays for itself after two visits (again, thank you, patron saint of free museums/monuments). This is by far, the best tip I can share with you-- get one immediatley upon your arrival.
I limited my visit to just the Richelieu wing, which is large enough to be its own museum, and has everything from European sculptures, objets d'art (mostly church reliquary), the restored apartments of Napoleon III (from when the Louvre was still a royal residence), Islamic art and antiquities, and several painting galleries from all over Europe. Yes, all of that in the Richelieu wing.
I particularly enjoyed Napoleon III's apartments, and the Islamic antiquities.
Everyone raves about the opulence and beauty of Versailles , but I was much more impressed with this display (I am trying to get my pictures linked up as soon as possible). From the furniture and wall hangings, chandeliers, china and flatware, ect., it was phenomenal. Granted, Nappy 3 lived much later than Louis XIV did, and had access to many different resources not available during the time of the Sun King, so the comparison is a little unfair. But do make a point to tour the apartments. With just a few rooms on display, it only takes minutes to walk through.
The Islamic antiquities gallery was full of art, rugs, ceramic tiles, pots, objet d'art, scientific tools, ect. and covered several Islamic cultures. It is rather small compared to other parts of the Richelieu, but filled with beautiful objects and pieces of history. It was my last stop for the day, but I made a point to take time and soak in the colors, the details(!), and really enjoyed myself.

I saw several famous paintings, by several famous artists, and enjoyed that novelty-- but in terms of the paintings and sculpture I saw, I most enjoyed the studies of old people (les plus agés). One often sees young, nubile women posing for portraits, and (often self) portraits of men, but rarely the very old. In both marble and on canvas, I saw works detailing the lines and veins on faces, the wrinkled skin and thining hair. These were my favorite works; to me, the most interesting.

After spending several hours at the Louvre, I decided to walk to Chatelet and catch the RER, instead of taking one of the Louvre's metro stops to a transfer station. I walked down an almost deserted Rue de Rivoli as the sun was setting behind me--turning all of the buildings around me bright pink, and causing all of the guilded grillwork to glow. It was beautiful night in Paris, and I considered briefly not going home. But, with HP 6 burning a hole in my purse-- begging to be read, that was simply not possible. I mean, Harry Potter #6 vs. a night out in Paris? Puh-lease! There's not even a question there.
Again, "Comments" are open for comments, news updates, thoughts, feelings, concerns, letters of love, ect.


Blogger Adrian said...


I never thought I would say it, but:


I'll even go so far as to say its almost as beautiful as Cape Town. : )

9:45 PM  
Blogger madman said...

I agree with Adrian-- FRANCE looks great--but how are the FRENCH?
Hope you keep having fun.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Diana Kennedy said...

Those Photos are absolutley gorgeous! A delight to look at! Congratulatons!

11:33 PM  
Blogger Serena said...

Welcome, Diana. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for perusing my pics. :)

1:56 AM  

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