Today’s Post is more of a photo post and it travels back a few years to trip through the Louvre Museum. Why am I sharing these photos now? Well, because I didn’t have a travel blog back then and the thought of creating a website was far off my radar. Today, I realize all along that a travel blog was just the remedy I needed to pass the morning hours as I sip coffee and dream of far off places.
OK, into the Louvre we go. Please note: I had a crappy point and shoot camera at the time and you do what you can. Also, if you plan to go to the Louvre be advised that you are not allowed to take pictures with a flash while you are inside. So turn your flash off. Some cameras have a museum mode on them now days so that tends to work. Mine didn’t and you will notice some of them are not as sharp as I would have liked.
You probably noticed that most of the pictures I took were of statues and not paintings. I took some pictures of paintings but with my camera they just didn’t turn out to well. This one I took of Napoleon Crowning Josephine turned out better than the rest. Probably because I took like 20 of them before I got one to look descent.
This painting is one of the more well know ones not called the Mona Lisa. Around 200 years ago, Napoleon threw himself a elaborate coronation ceremony at Notre-Dame Cathedral. He then hired the artist Jacques-Louis David to commemorate it all. The painting measures over 500 sqaure feet. Whats interesting is the painting actually don’t depict what’s really going on at all.
In it you watch Napoleon crowing Josephine but according to early sketches by the artist they showed Napoleon crowning himself. The thought process hear was to make Napoleon appear more generous and less self serving. In addition Napoleon had the painter include his mother in the picture despite the fact that she arrived late to Paris on purpose as to not attend.
Also note how the unenthusiastic Pope Pius VII is represented. Early sketches depicted him as he was that day, not happy to be dragged from Rome to Paris and sitting at his altar, hands in lap. When Napoleon seen the early sketches he scolded his painter and told him “I didn’t have him come so far to do nothing!” The final painting depicts the pope with his arms slightly raised holding his scepter in a half hearted blessing. Still, he appears to have a scowl on his face. The Pope’s chair also appears lower then it would have been so that Napoleon appears relatively larger. In addition Josephine is depicted as a much prettier and younger version of herself. The same generosity is given to Napoleons depiction as well. It seems Napoleon was determined to recreate the memory of his ceremony to his liking.
So why am I telling you all this all of a sudden, hey I thought this was a picture post? Yeah, I know but my point was that while in Paris we visited a lot of places and sometimes we had a guide and sometimes we didn’t. At first, I thought, I really don’t want a guide. I just want to do things at my pace and discover on my own. But you see, on such a occasion I stood and listed to a tour guide describing this painting to his little groupies. I really enjoyed learning the history. It made everything more memorable to me to be able to put a story behind what I was looking at. If you haven’t tried tour guides you should give it go. Well I hoped you like this days photo post as we walked through the Louvre Museum.