The Louvre

No…. it’s not a real word, I just made it up. But Louvrephiles do exist and I’m definitely one of them. Today was about the 17th time I’ve been to the Louvre during my 7 month stint here in Paris. When I arrived my girlfriend and I got the carte louvre jeunes for only 32euro each that let’s you: go as often as you want, skip the long lines, bring someone else along free on Wednesday’s and Friday’s, go to many of the shows and concerts that the Louvre hosts free of charge, plus includes the audio guide for free every time. After 17 times I’ve pretty much seen every bit of the Louvre and some sections more than once. It really is the best art museum I’ve ever been to bar none, the museumus rex. About 6 years ago I took an Art History class in college. I have a good recollection of that class and it really blows my mind to see probably more than 50% of the pictures that were in that textbook  in person at the Louvre. I especially like the Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and Italian paintings sections. I enjoy going Wednesday evenings when it’s open late and after 7:00pm there aren’t as many people. It get’s a lot quieter and if you’re lucky you can get a picture of the Mona Lisa without having to elbow through a crowd. Not only are the exhibitions amazing, the building is a work of art in and of itself. Unless you go you just can’t imagine how vast that place is. You can walk for a long time and only have seen one section of one wing of one level of the Louvre. I find it relaxing to stroll through it’s lengthy, spacious halls and to stop to admire a statue, artifact, or painting that jumps out at me. Sometimes I go with an notepad to draw a statue that I particularly liked. The pictures I’ve taken can do it more justice than words can…

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Byzantine Jesus

Byzantine Jesus

Byzantine-era Jesus inside the Haghia Sophia. One thing that struck me is that before halos became gold ring-looking things hovering over the heads of Jesus, Saints and 5year-old Angels, they looked more like what some would describe as an aura. A similar ring is often shown in depictions of Gautama the Buddha as well as Hindu deities. Sometimes it is a ring, sometimes it resembles fire, and at other times it is like a sun with golden rays reaching out in every direction, but the theme remains the same…