Art / Tourism / Travel

The Louvre round 2: Renaissance, Africa, and Comedy.

Long overdue, it’s high time I share a bit more of the wonders of the Louvre with you fine folk. My second visit was right behind the first, as I went with Sean when he  came to visit just days after my other friend in November. During this visit we took MUCH longer to peruse as much of the museum as we could handle before our feet were dragging and spirits sagging a bit (the place is huge, it takes some serious energy!) We went through several sections, and as I will get to later, I started to notice trends of HILARIOUS characters in paintings or other works that were almost easy to miss–I know the artists didn’t intend them to be comical, but sometimes the faces on tiny people in otherwise massive paintings, usually not the focus, were just totally bizarre, or weird things would be happening off to the sides. So I began to document them as I went through, and will post some at the end.

Hello, Louvre, I've returned!

Hello, Louvre, I’ve returned!

We decided to go big or go home and first visit the most popular of the Louvre exhibits–the Medieval-Renaissance European pieces which contains–you guessed it– “La Joconde/Lisa del Giocondo” or as she is better known to the English speaking community, Miss Mona Lisa herself. You may have heard it through the grapevine, but she’s actually pretty small and somewhat underwhelming, and swarmed by tourists. Honestly she’s literally like the Kardashians–famous for being famous, although she was painted by a master and is quite a skilled work. But I’ve got many paintings in my favorites list ranked above her. Still, nice to tick that one off the list.

Beautiful grand hallways remind you that this place once hosted kings and courtiers from all over.

Beautiful grand hallways remind you that this place once hosted kings and courtiers from all over.

The Renaissance pieces ranged from the small to massive–floor-to-ceiling pieces that must have taken months or more to finish, along with both better and lesser known portraits. It’s always a little satisfying to see pieces you’ve studied in books for years in person and feel like a smartypants, but overall that’s not my favorite period of artwork, so I felt like things were starting to run together by the end. I was genuinely much more appreciative of the architecture and setup of the museum as a whole. (In my third Louvre post I’ll share some of my other favorite things.)

I know I can't be the only person who's seen this scandalous lady peeking up at me cheekily from textbooks before!

I know I can’t be the only person who’s seen this scandalous lady peeking up at me cheekily from textbooks before!

The painting on the right featured a church with dozens of paintings on the inside--and the artist took the time to recreate them all inside his work. DEDICATION.

The paintings on the right & left featured a church with dozens of paintings on the inside–and the artist took the time to recreate them all inside his work. DEDICATION.

Things took a turn for the more interesting, however, when we decided to pop into the Africa & Pacific Islands exhibit! The exhibit is only a few rooms in size because the Louvre is not France’s primary destination for that kind of art–along the Seine is the Musée du Quai Branly, where such things would normally be found.  But it made for a very unique break from the humdrum of portrait after portrait. There were also some very…well, adorable pieces in there, to be honest!

I believe this looker is from the Hawaiian Islands!

I believe this looker is from the Hawaiian Islands!

CUTEST HEDGEHOG EVER. A piece from Africa, although I have admittedly forgotten which part.

CUTEST HEDGEHOG EVER. A piece from Africa, although I have admittedly forgotten which part.

Alright, I can't rightly remember the part of the world this came from, but it was definitely...eye-catching! BADUM-TSSSSSS. (Don't hate me.)

Alright, I can’t rightly remember the part of the world this came from, but it was definitely…eye-catching! BADUM-TSSSSSS. (Don’t hate me.)

And now, as promised, I shall leave you with a couple of the bizarre finds I noticed hiding in various European fine art pieces! Enjoy!

Just a finger.

Just a finger.

...What is this I CAN'T EVEN.

…What is this I CAN’T EVEN.

"Bitch, please."

“Bitch, please.”

Alright ladies and gents, that’s enough of my sass and puns today.

Cheerio!

-B

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