We met our tour guide Belen at the statue by the Pyramid at the Louvre. There was only one other couple on the tour -- great for us! I am on a hunt to see all the Vermeer's on display in the world, and there are two at the Louvre.
Belen began the tour by getting us quickly past and through the lines -- and then when we were inside she started speaking to us about balance in art -- her beginning mini lecture helped set the background for all the art we saw.
We started out looking at ancient art --
She talked about the art and the structure of it, and we moved on.
The wonderful thing about Belen, who has studied art for a long time (she is working on her doctorate) -- we worked our way through different sections of the art -- she explained where we should stand to see Nike - the piece below -- we looked at it first from the bottom of the stairs -- then from the spot I took the picture at. She was right -- from the other side you can't understand the form or the purpose -- so you can see where and how it was originally meant to be seen. The first picture below is the way it is to be seen upclose -- the one below it was not meant to be the angle at which the piece was to be seen. The top picture became important later.
We moved on to other parts of the Louvre:
Belen gave us an explanation of the life of Leonardo di Vinci -- and introduced us to an earlier painting by Leonardo:
Here is Belen explaining a painting to us:
We moved on to what many come to the Louvre for:
To me it wasn't as small as everyone claimed it to be -- and hearing the story again about how it was stolen and subsequently a few years later returned to the Louvre was good to hear in this place.
One of the last things we saw was this painting -- where we were taken back to what we first heard about balance, etc -- and then in the painting we saw it-- the woman holding the flag -- there she is again -- Nike. We keep on reinventing the same things, don't we?
It was a great tour of the Louvre -- we saw other things, but these are the highlights.
We moved onto lunch with the group -- and then on to the D'Orsay!
The lessons we learned in the Louvre was continued in the D'Orsay. It was wonderful to walk through there with Belen!
Here are some of the art highlights from the D'Orsay that we saw:
This sculpture by Degas.
This painting by Renoir -- we actually saw the location that this was painted of when we were in Montmatre a few days earlier -- sorry for the quality of this photo:
And another one --
Here is our group -- and a picture taken looking out from the inside of the D'Orsay:
We said goodbye to Belen and the other couple, and went on to see more of the D'Orsay before we headed back to the Louvre to see what I longed to see but we didn't have time to do earlier -- I got to see one of two -- the other is on loan to Japan:
We ended the day meeting family friend Maddie for dinner at La Fermette Marbeuf:
It was a beautiful day! And now more pix --
....and the painting in which we see Napoleon Bonaparte crowning himself -- his mother didn't attend but he ordered the painter to paint her in there as if she were there -- early photoshop.