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Kristen & Joe in Paris: Reuniting with Old Friends in the Louvre

Today we went to the Louvre. YAY! To an art lover like me, nothing can beat it. I started my college studies as an Art History major. I loved it!!! Circumstances in my life forced me to move and change colleges, and the new college I attended did not offer an art history degree, so I started taking studio art classes instead. A few years later I had my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics. I graduated with way more elective art history courses than I actually needed. Art has been a huge part of my life since I took my first Humanities course in high school over 13 years ago.

The Louvre is the largest art museum in the world. I had been there before, many years ago, but didn´t have more than a couple of hours there. This time, I took my time and I still didn´t see everything. Joe and I were still tired from the day before, so after a few hours, he went back to the hotel and I limped (by this time I counted 4 blisters on my feet) my way through the rest of what I wanted to see. I saw so many works I had studied many years ago, and many of them I had forgotten about. As lame as this sounds, it was like meeting old friends. I have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours with these friends. It was a very emotional experience for me.

There were the ¨must sees¨ such as the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory of Samothrace, and Venus de Milo. There were also antiquities made thousands of years before Christ by the Greeks, Romans, etc. Egyptian sarcophagi and Greek red and black figure vases. Famous paintings during the French Revolution. The list goes on and on. My favorite was the Decorative Art area, also called Applied Art or Functional Art–this is my specialty. These are works not hung on a wall to be looked at, but used. You can hold them. These are items such as jewelry, pottery, etc. Items that are beautiful and serve a purpose.

What was interesting to me was, though this was my favorite area, it was strangely quiet. In other areas of the museum, it was crowded and noisy. People were fighting the crowds to get close enough to the Mona Lisa to snap a picture to say they´ve seen it in person. The Mona Lisa can´t truly be enjoyed. I´ve tried twice and both times I was shoved out of the way to make room for people who just wanted to say they´ve been there.

That´s ok, because I just retreated to the quieter areas of the museum. Many times, I found myself alone with the works, with no one in sight. It was truly wonderful and intimate.

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