My Trip to Paris II – Louvre and the Mona Lisa

Going to the Louvre museum was definitely on my list. I had heard so much from my friends that I had to see explore it. The only hitch was The Louvre (started in August 10, 1793) is one of the world’s largest museums (with 70,000 pieces of art spread across more than 650,000 square feet of gallery space). So two thoughts the word MUSEUM itself is so deterring and secondly it is said that it takes a minimum of 3 days to spend 10 seconds on each art work and if one were keen on studying each it would take 3 years.
For the ones who would say I am not a museum person, please take my word for it you will truly enjoy every bit of the experience. The museum being so big, I was amazed at the easy of buying tickets, the information counters and guides. It was simplified for anyone of follow; well with so many diverse visitors flowing in it couldn’t have been easier than this.
The museum is in a U shape and is divided in three sections of 3 floors which houses Egyptian antiquities, Near Eastern antiquities, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman, Islamic art, Sculpture, Decorative arts and Paintings.
Now given the grandeur of place I knew I couldn’t cover all, so I chose the best of what I knew. This is my modest try to give you a glimpse of the Louvre through my lens.
Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa has always been very mysterious to me. It gathers a lot of interest around the world because its Leonardo Da Vinci’s most popular works, plus thanks to Dan Brown’s novel the Da Vinci Code which talks about hidden codes described in the novel.
The Mona Lisa
The name of the painting, Mona Lisa was the result of a spelling error! The original name of the painting was Monna Lisa. Monna in Italian is a short form of Madonna, meaning ‘My Lady’. The identity of the woman in the painting is still a mystery.
  • Leonardo Da Vinci’s sexuality was never known. Some believe that it is the female form of Leonardo Da Vinci himself.
  • In 1956, a man named Ugo Ungaza threw a stone at the painting. This resulted in a small damage on the paint around her left elbow.
  • The painting is considered priceless and so it cannot be insured.
  • A lot is said about the eyebrows of Mona Lisa, one such is that when the authorities were trying to restore the painting, the eyebrows got accidentally removed. However, some people believe that Leonardo Da Vinci never completed the painting and left it without the eyebrows.
  • It is known that there are three different layers painted before the present version of the painting. One version has her hands clutching her arm instead of the chair in front of her.
Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon I and Coronation of the Empress Josephine in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris on 2 December 1804
Coronation of Napoleon


The Coronation of Napoleon is a painting completed in 1807 by Jacques-Louis David, the official painter of Napoleon. The painting has imposing dimensions, as it is almost ten metres wide by approximately six metres tall. The crowning and the coronation took place at Notre-Dame de Paris, a way for Napoleon to make it clear that he was a son of the Revolution.
Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss
Psyche and Cupid
This sculpture was commissioned in 1787 by Antonio Canova. The sculpture represents god Cupid at the zenith of love and tenderness, immediately after awakening the dead Psyche with a kiss. The story of Cupid and Psyche is from the Lucius Apuleius’ Latin novel The Golden Ass.
Venus de Milo
Venus de Milo
Aphrodite of Milos better known as the Venus de Milo, is an ancient Greek statue and one of the most famous works of ancient Greek sculpture. Created sometime between 130 and 100 BC, it is believed to depict Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty (Venus to the Romans).
The Seated Scribe
The Seated Scribe

This was in the Egyptian art section. The sculpture was discovered at Saqqara in 1850 and dated to the period of the 4th Dynasty, 2620–2500 BCE. The sculptor is still unknown and the sculpture gets special attention to the eyes.

Death of Sardanapalus
Death of Sardanapalus


This one has a very interesting tale to it. The story is very sad and tragic and is depicted to perfection by Eugene Delacroix.

Sardanapalus was the last king of Nineveh, a city in between the Mediterranean Sea and the Caspian Sea (present day Iraq). He decided to take matters into his own hands after learning that his city was under attack by a rebellious enemy group. Instead of facing a humiliating defeat, Sardanapalus decided he himself would destroy his prized possessions.

All is possessions and treasures – including Myrrha, horses, and slaves would all be burned and destroyed.
Liberty Leading the People
Liberty leading the people


This painting celebrated the day, during the 1830 Revolution, that the people rose and fought for their liberty. Delacroix used the painting as a political poster for the revolution. Delacroix was a member of the National Gaurd, and he placed himself into the picture as the man on the left wearing a top-hat.
La Grande Odalisque


La Grande Odalisque


Grande Odalisque, also known as Une Odalisque or La Grande Odalisque, is an oil painting of 1814 by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres depicting an odalisque, or concubine. Grande Odalisque attracted wide criticism when it was first shown. It has been especially noted for the elongated proportions and lack of anatomical realism.


Portrait of an Old Man and a Young Boy
Old man and his grandson

An Old Man and his Grandson is a ca. 1490 tempera painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Domenico Ghirlandaio. One of Ghirlandaio’s best-known works, it is considered notable for its emotional poignancy.

Sleeping Hermaphroditos


Sleeping Hermaphroditus


In Greek mythology, Hermaphroditus or Hermaphroditos was the son of Aphrodite (Goddess of love and beauty) and Hermes (god of transitions and boundaries). The Sleeping Hermaphroditus is an ancient marble sculpture depicting Hermaphroditus life size, reclining on a mattress sculpted by the Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1620. The mattress was looked so real I almost wanted to feel it.
Nike of Samothrace
Nike of Samothrace
Nike has been celebrated as the Goddess of triumph and contest throughout ancient Greek mythology. The winged goddess Nike (victory) was the daughter of the Titans, Pallas and Styx; her siblings included Zelos (rivalry), Kratos (strength), and Bia (force). After helping Zeus banish the Titans from Mt. Olympus, the supreme god honored Nike, and she then earned her title as the goddess of victory.
Raft of the Medusa
Raft of Medusa
The Raft of the Medusa painted  by the French Romantic painter and lithographer Théodore Géricault in 1818-19 when he was just 27 years old. The painting depicts a scene from the aftermath of the wreck of the French naval ship, which ran drifted and met an unavoidable adversity. The French captain in charge was criticised for his incompetence when this raft was hurriedly constructed and at least and on boarded 147 people; all but 15 died in the 13 days before their rescue, and those who survived endured starvation and dehydration and practiced cannibalism.
References : Louvre site and Wiki, Pictures: (Shweta Dave)
  1. September 7, 2014
    • September 8, 2014
  2. October 9, 2014
    • October 9, 2014
  3. October 10, 2014
  4. October 15, 2014
    • October 16, 2014
  5. October 16, 2014
    • October 17, 2014
  6. October 17, 2014
  7. October 17, 2014
  8. August 5, 2015
  9. April 10, 2016
  10. April 18, 2016
  11. April 23, 2016
  12. June 2, 2016
  13. June 21, 2016
  14. September 12, 2016

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