Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Day 15: Musee Jacquemart-Andre

On the 15th (and final) day, we went to the Jacquemart-Andre museum. It's the collection of married couple, and this was their home. It's well worth a visit. My only disappointment is that since it is a home, the rooms are small and they were completely taken over by a tour group. Very aggravating in the special Caravaggio exhibit; they completely filled each room they entered.

The art and the home are fantastic.

Saw one of my absolute favorites, on loan from the Pitti Palace in Florence where it first floored me. So glad to see it in person again.

The beautiful home:

The neighborhood around the museum is also gorgeous:

We walked past the Burkina Faso embassy and saw these statues:

After lunch, we took the Metro. The Metro requires fitness.

Our destination: the Archeological Crypt at Notre Dame cathedral. It was created to display archeological remains discovered from 1965- 1972. I didn't think it was labeled well and there are no restrooms. I'm still glad I stopped there, but I wish I could have learned more. The Crypt is all underground and the entrance is outside the cathedral.

I was very tired, hungry and thirsty by this time, but we hoofed it over to the Pantheon which was soon to close for the day. We wanted to see Foucault's pendulum, but it wasn't on display that day. We did see the tombs of Marie Curie and Pierre Curie there. Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Emile Zola are also there, among many others.

I'm pretty sure that it was right after this that I was almost mowed down by a city bus that ran a red light. After that, it was time for a biere and moules frites.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Day 14: Part III of my Louvre Tour

Honestly, I don't understand why so many people say of the Mona Lisa, "I thought it was bigger." Why? Why would you think it was huge? It's a portrait. Lots of portraits are this size.

It's so crowded around her, it's hard to get to admire her. This time it was mostly people trying to take selfies with the painting.

Leaving the Mona Lisa, I walked through the Salon Denon into the Salle Mollien. It was decorated for the imperial museum, hence the red and gold. It houses large French Romanticism paintings. At one end is the Cafe Mollien. We had lunch there on our previous visit, but there was a line this time and we couldn't get in.

Cafe Mollien, inside the Louvre.

Heading down the Escalier Mollien, I was so happy to see a reproduction of the brass boar that I saw in Florence, Italy. Hope to return to Florence one day. In Florence, the tradition is to put your hand in the boar's mouth to ensure a return trip.

The Galerie Michel-Ange (Michelangelo Gallery) is one of my favorites. It houses Italian sculpture, including Michelangelo's Slaves.

One statue looks like it's taking a selfie, and I saw a human doing the same.

I walked through the Italian and Spanish sculpture rooms. Incredible.

Wooden sculpture of Mary Magdalene.

I absolutely love Italian sculpture, and the terra cotta pieces from the della Robbia studio. Swoon.

Next I went into the Cour Marly. Finished in 1857 and once occupied by the Ministry of Finance, this courtyard was later given a glass roof by Ioeh Ming Pei, the architect of the pyramid. It contains statues from the park at Marly, King Louis the XIV's favorite residence.

View out into the city from the museum.

In the Louvre, there aren't many restrooms, they are hard to find, and crowded. I wound up in a section of Assyrian artifacts while trying to find a hidden restroom. Forget signs! These artifacts are similar to ones we saw in the British museum. Spectacular.

Next on the tour was the Cour Puget, a part of Napoleon's palace. Later it housed the Ministry of State, and then the Ministry of Finance. It now houses statuary. One group was the seasons, and winter is how I felt this entire London/Paris trip. We froze!

On the way to Napoleon's apartments I saw this life sized sculpture, very impressive. It's of a nobleman's burial, Phillipe Pot. Interesting story about him available online if you want to read it.

Beautiful stairway to Napoleon's apartments.

I was so glad I took this self-guided tour of the Louvre as a palace, it's gorgeous! Ornate hallway in Napoleon's apartments...

Gorgeous drawing room.

Napoleon's dining room.

There was an interesting double staircase that originally led to the Imperial Library, the Escalier Lafuel.

From there I made my way out to the main entrance underneath the glass pyramid.