Monday, April 13, 2015

Ein Tag in Paris Museen // A Day in Paris's Museums | France, Pt. 2

March 28, 2015

The weather on our second day was forecasted to be windy and rainy, so we opted for a day indoors exploring museums. We took the metro to the Louvre, waited in line for twenty minutes, got in free with our European student IDs, and were on our way to conquer some exhibits.

Our first stop was, naturally, the Mona Lisa. She's surprisingly hard to find, given her famous status, as all of the signs are 8.5"x11" pieces of paper taped to the frames of large doorways. Nevertheless after ten minutes of walking we found her. Up until the moment I saw her, I thought it would just be one of those pieces that I could quickly look at and be done and say I've seen her. Instead, she captivated me. I fought my way up to the front of the barrier and stared at her for a full minute. I was still four feet away but I wish I'd been able to get really close because she didn't look like a real painting under the glass. I now understand why all the art scholars study her and the mystery behind her smile, because I too am now in love.

That little solo rectangle behind the glass on the wall? That would be Mona. 

After leaving Mona, we prioritised which remaining sections of the Louvre we wanted to visit and headed towards the decorative arts and statue wings. Unfortunately the Renaissance section of the decorative arts collection was closed that day, but we saw a number of interesting pieces from former French monarchs and medieval rulers. The statues were, as always, bordering on ridiculous at times and we enjoyed imitating some of the more absurd pieces.

Photo credit: Wendy 

After seeing everything we wanted in the Louvre, we stopped for a quick crepe lunch at a cafe around the corner before walking across the Pont des Arts and on to the Musee d'Orsay to see some Impressionist pieces. 

We were most excited to see some of Van Gogh's works, which were even more beautiful in person. The only thing that ruined our experience was a woman who stood directly in front of Starry Night Over the Rhone for a solid ten minutes without moving. We eventually got tired of waiting for her to leave and went around her, and we later saw her in front of various other Van Gogh paintings for long periods of time too.

Van Gogh's Starry Night Over the Rhone
Van Gogh's Self Portrait, 1889
Though many people find museums boring, I really love days spent in them, in part because my hometown only has a few good ones. With the unhappy weather outside, I was content with giving up a day of wandering around outside to see some world famous pieces.

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