After the Musee d'Orsay, Dave and Barb walked over the bridge to the Musee du Louvre--it is amazing how may of the famous sites in Paris are so close to one another. You can't swing a cat without hitting some famous something or another! We again across the bridge with all of the lockes to the ironwork--lovers affix a lock on to the bridge and toss the key into the Seine River as a symbol of their undying love How romantic!
Like the Musee d'Orsay, it is the museum's perogative to move exhibits around, so D&B enjoyed a lively game of "Where's Waldo" with the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. We just followed the crowds to find Winged Victory, a strategy we should have used through the entire museum.
Art could be it's own category of "things we wish I knew more about (see my earlier blog). As we walked through the Louvre, I could not shake the feeling that I was racing past once in a lifetime artwork without the slightest appreciation for what I was seeing. Maybe in my next life I will come back as an art history major. We had been prepped ahead of time to expect the Mona Lisa to be small and hard to see (partly because of crowds and partly because of the protective glass), but I was reminded of the statue of David in Florence. When you see these masterpieces, it is not hard to understand why their appeal has endured for so long.
One of our tour guides mentioned that if you stood for just three seconds in front of each pieced of art in the Louvre's collection, it would take you three months (24 hours per day) to see the entire collection. No wonder we were overwhelmed. Another (under-appreciated, in our case) aspect of the tour is the building itself. While Chateau du Versailles was intended to replace the Louvre as the royal palace, it certainly did not outshine it. Dave commented that, except for the extensive grounds of Versailles, Louis Louis XIV traded down when he moved out to the country!