Official launch of Seven Studies of Louvre project
After a trip to Netherlands and Belgium in summer of 2017, I spent three days in Paris to prepare for next winter.
In early 2000, I went to Paris twice in a row. The first time was on an introductory tour. I stayed in France for almost a month and played in Paris for a week. Walking on edge of time and space : My cultural trip around world" (for more details, see series: "On edge of time and space").
Returning to old place after 17 years, how do I play in Paris? Paris has a colder climate in winter than Shanghai, so it's definitely not suitable for long outdoor stays. So I booked a stay in Paris for 23 nights and main focus of game was museum.
The most important thing in Parisian museums is Louvre. I have been there twice. In 2005, I also wrote long reading book "Moving Louvre" (see issues 4-17 of this series). After studying European museums for so many years, I have come to conclusion that Louvre is most worth visiting. The treasures of many medium-sized museums can only be called excellent exhibits in Louvre. Two full days is enough, but for Louvre it is far from enough. For me, how many days should I spend visiting Louvre?
I can't predict ahead of time, we'll see how it goes.
At end of January 2018, on first Monday after arriving in Paris, I went to Louvre. It's winter now and there aren't many people in front of glass pyramid, queue is mostly for security checks. Paris is now full of security checks, even department stores and large supermarkets are unavoidable, and there are cops with live ammunition on roads, which was unthinkable 20 years ago.
I remember when I was in Egypt in 2004, I was very uncomfortable when I saw soldiers with live ammunition patrolling and checking security, and same thing happened when I was in Philippines in 2010. Suddenly, in recent years, Europe has become nervous and nervous. Compared to this, China is not bad.
When you enter lobby of Louvre, you still have to queue to buy tickets. Logically, if you want to visit a lot of Parisian museums, your best bet is to buy discounted tickets for a tour of Parisian museums: there are tickets for 2, 4 and 6 days. But since my itinerary is unclear and I am waiting for weather to clear up, I will travel to outskirts of Paris or other places at any time, so I cannot decide whether to buy a discount ticket for sightseeing.
The Louvre Hall has three entrances: Richelieu, Sully and Denon, leading to a labyrinth of exhibition halls. The Louvre is considered most complex and largest museum in world. Although there is a guide map, but this is only a rough idea. It is completely impossible for ordinary people to independently determine entire direction of Louvre, just once or twice. Although I have been to Louvre, I have long forgotten it and can only grope from very beginning.
Perhaps, given confusion of public, museum deliberately hung three colorful posters with treasures of town hall at three entrances so that people could see them in full view, for example, "Mona Lisa" and "Mona Lisa". Lisa" on ground floor of Denon Egyptian "Seated Clerk" pavilion in Syrian pavilion.
If you want to explore Louvre in detail, it certainly isn't easy to do so. My idea is to look at French exhibits first. Although Louvre claims to have collected treasures from all over world, it is still a large museum in France, and most interesting of them are French exhibits. For example, its Italian Renaissance exhibits are really great, but I've been to Italy several times and seen a lot of local work, and exhibits at Louvre may not be a must-see.
In French exhibitions, I chose to start with paintings from 17th-19th centuries, which are mainly collected on second floor of Syrian Museum.
Before going to Paris, as usual, I read a lot of information about Louvre, and finally, I think Pierre Rosenberg's "Private Dictionary of Louvre" is best. He was director of Louvre, devoted more than 40 years to his museum career, and in 1995 became a member of French Academy.
But lack of practicality is also obvious in this book. Firstly, there are no photographs, which indicates a lack of intuition, and secondly, it is not ordered according to exhibition area, so it is difficult to find it. For this reason, before leaving, I made a thick index, but in end it turned out to be useless.
However, this book has very good comments on Louvre exhibits, especially paintings of modern French history. I am writing these words now, mainly to relive an old dream with his assessment.