In order to avoid the problem with long museum lines I encountered in Florence, I went to Le Louvre (pronounced “blah bloov-ray”) before it opened at 9 am and was glad I did as I had the exterior spaces largely to myself. Well, to myself and a few soldiers with machine guns but you get the idea.
My hotel is about a 10 minute walk from the museum, which I made in the new shoes I bought yesterday. By 11 am my dogs were barking. I took the Metro from the Concorde to the Rennes station yesterday to find a reasonable shoe store, even though the hotel, the Melia Vendome Boutique Hotel, is located near fashionable Parisian designer clothing stores. I wonder what would happen if I tried my newly acquired Turkish bargaining skills in one of those places.
The museum is open late on Wednesdays so I am splitting my day there. This morning I saw Italian paintings and sculpture, Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities, and other items in the Denon and Sully wings. I’ll go back late this afternoon for the Richelieu wing for the German, Flemish, Belgian and other Northern European paintings. The museum facilities are beautiful, carefully designed and maintained. I enjoyed seeing some works I recall from art history courses. In the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and at the Louvre you find that many artists painting the same subject matter, the Annunciation, the visit of the Magi, Venus reclining, the Crucifixion. I particularly liked Braccesco’s L’Annonciation. As seen in this detail, and in accordance with the biblical account, Mary is show to be alarmed by the appearance of the archangel Gabriel.