Gra Nomad Wanderings

Monday, November 13, 2006


What do you do if you have just one day to spend in Paris? Go to the Louvre!
You will see heaps of statues, and more works of art than you will be able to handle in a day. One of the many artists we checked out was Rubens. We visited one LARGE ROOM where 23 of his pieceswere hung. He painted around 1600 AD so the paintings were all about 400 years old. Saw quite a few Rembrandts. He died at the prime age of 63.... hmmmmm.... that's how old I am!
I found an interesting painting by Poussin (Italy) - Le Christ et la femme adultere done in 1653. Christ has an interesting look on his face as He asks the others ... let him who is without sin throw the first stone.
Pannini's Galerie de vues de la Rome is big on detail and neat in perspective. Done in 1759 these paintings (there are actually two of them) each contain scenes from Rome.... like paintings within a painting. I counted about 60 scenes in the first one. Really cool stuff.
We followed some signs and finally entered a room, 30 m x 30 m. There she was! Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, or la Joconde. She had a wall to herself even though there were 40+ paintings in the room. The painting - la Joconde - is a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo. It was painted around 1500. She still commands all your attention (even at her age) We spent quite some time with her. She is so cool and yet so friendly.
One of the paintings in the same room as our Mona is one done by Paola Caliari done in 1562. It was called the wedding banquet - Les Noces de Cana. The painting is about 8m x 12m - huge. There was so much going on in the painting and heaps of people either eating, drinking or serving and cooking. But I did appreciate 3 dogs and 1 cat, all down in the foreground of the painting. Easy to miss.
One marble statue worth a mention is Venus de Milo - found Apr 1820 between Athens and the island of Crete - island of Melos. It is believed to have been done around 100BC! Sadly they have never found her arms, poor thing. Even so she is one special lady.
You can take your camera in to the Louvre, but you're not allowed to photograph the paintings. (There are heaps of other things you can photograph including Venus de Milo.) I was glad to go in without mine though. We spent 4+ hours there. Who knows, we may never see la Joconde again!

Now we're in Athens and had a wander round the ruins today. Unreal. On Tuesday we head off for a week to visit the rest of Greece... sorry but that's all the time we've got. Then it's off to Italy (Florence and Rome) for an even quicker trip.


At 1:20 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

WOW!!! How lucky you two are to see such amazing works of art in person. I hope one day I have that opportunity, too. Now off to Athens.... I am really jealous! I dream of living there someday. One of the most fascinating places on earth, I think. Have fun!

At 2:35 AM, Blogger julie said...

Everything I wanted to say, Jennifer already did. I guess I'll be satisfied with, "Wow" and "I'm really jealous."

At 3:30 AM, Blogger Keasty said...

Hey, Jennifer would just LOVE this country! Museums, ruins, ... they've got it all. Every time we see ruins... I think of JS! True!
Today we visited Olympia ruins and then called to see Temple of Apollo way up on a hill.... got a few shots I'll get to you later.
Now in Sparta. Just arrived here at 5 pm after a harrowing but beautiful drive thru mtns with NO GUARD RAILS on the edge of the roads! Aaaarrrggg!


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