Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Four Muses: My Visit to Musée du Louvre

Muse  (myooz)
1. Greek Mythology Any of the nine daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus, each of whom presided over a different art or science.
2. muse
a. A guiding spirit.
b. A source of inspiration.

Modern words deriving from the god Muses: Museum, Music.

During my recent trip to Europe, I found my own four Muses: The National Gallery, The Victoria & Albert Museum, Tate Modern and Musée du Louvre. This is a series of four blogs that will share my favorite works and possibly a few snapshots.

Part 4 of 4: Musée du Louvre

The Louvre is one of the world's most famous museums housing thousands of objet d'art.  It's history, however, is not so well known.  The palace originated as a fortress where you can still see the medieval remains at basement level.  Later, the Louvre became a royal residence until Louis XIV relocated his court to Versailles.  The Sun King and his successors continued to use the building to store private art collections until the French Revolution when the Louvre became a museum open to the public.

The Louvre underwent several additions and reconstructions.  The most controversial of those is also one of the most recognized features - the glass Pyramid completed in 1989.  

New to the Pyramid as of 2011 is an annually alternating exhibit of contemporary sculpture which sits just below the point of the glass structure.  Here is the 2012 installation:

Suppo, by Wim Delvoye, is a stunning sculptural display of laser-cut steel with a repeating pattern similar to cathedral facades.

Detail of Suppo

Out of the thousands of paintings I saw during my trip, these three were my favorite:

La Jeune Martyre, Paul Delaroche 1855

Le 28 Juillet, La Liberté guidant le peuple, Eugene Delacroix 1830-31

Mort d'Elisabeth, reine d'Angleterre, en 1603, Paul Delaroche 1827-28

And then there was the sculpture...I had so many favorites! Just look...

Venus de Milo, between 130-100 BC

Athéna Parthénos dite "Minerve au Collier"
1st or 2nd centuries AD

Athéna dite "Pallas de Velletri"
Copy of original Bronze, 5th or 4th centuries BC

Vatican Collection, Throne of a Priest of Bacchus

Psyché Revived by Cupid's Kiss, Antonio Canova

Detail of Psyché and Cupid

Dircé, Lorenzo Bartolini

Detail of Dircé

La Victoire de Samothrace
approx 190 BC

Captive "The Dying Slave", Michelangelo Buonarroti

The final exhibition I toured was the replication of Napoleon III's apartments...

Grand Dining Hall

Grand Salon

That concludes my four Muses...Hope you enjoyed them as much as I've enjoyed sharing them with you!


1 comment:

  1. Great photos! On our last visit, we attended the Louis Vuitton exhibit at Musée des Arts Décoratifs, a museum of the decorative arts and design, located in the Palais du Louvre's western wing. Reading your blog makes me wish I was back in Paris.