So I`m here in the Louvre (well, not at this minute, obviously, but when I was writing this I was). I have been to the Sully wing, and seen probably half of it. There are only so many Egyptianartefacts one can see before going insane, and I really dont care about the medieval history of the Louvre. So that was Sully. I had a break and am now in the Denon wing, home to the Mona Lisa (La Joconde) and other masterpieces. She is a hall away from where I sit now - too large a queue for me - and I am perusing the other paintings as I amble around. Some are good, some are bad, soma make you go QUOI? and some strike a chord. For example, the other paintings of Leonardo DaVinci. My favourite is "Bacchus dans la Paysage", Jean the baptiste. He just looks so content, sitting there in some sort of paradise enjoying himself. although to be truthful, I like all of daVinci`s works. The Mona Lisa less so, magnificent though she is purported to be. She just feels a little flat to me, like coke that's been shaken and left over night with the top off. the painting I really don't like is "la vierge et l'enfant entournés de saint benoit and saint quentin, et deux anges". Baby Jesus looks about 30, the saints are bored shitless, and the virgin is resigned to her fate. Resigned? Mary? She isnt supposed to look resigned, she's the mother of god. Kid's on her lap looking creepily holy, and she' looking like she wants to be anywhere but there. Religious I am not, but honestly. Inapropriate. And everyone in the painting next door -"la prèsentation au temple", Ambrogio da Fossano - looks dead. they have grey skin and they look dead. However, "La Portement de Croix", Biagio D'Antonio, I like. This is one that strikes a chord. As the title suggests, it is Jesus carrying the cross to the place of his death. The lok on his face - sorrowful but accepting - seems to fit within the moment captured. And the contrast between the halves of the canvas is powerful. Jesus and cross are in the middle, taking up most of the space, and on the left are hard-faced soldiers, on the right women weeping, the weeping being something not often included. one of them is holding what appears to be the shroud of turin, or whereever, even though He isn't dead yet. The whole thing just works. ça marche, is what i thought when i saw it. In amongst all this italien religious art - and all the paintings are religious - it stands out, just like daVinci's interpretation of John.
ok. I think any more religious art will kill me. idn't they ever paint anything else? Virgin and child, crucifixion, portraits. C'est tout. I just looked up and saw a painting of religious figures. (wow.) They look a bit like rod with different coloured hair. one of them is wearing what appear to be a pair of tartan underpants. what? this is a QUOI? moment. "La vierge à l'enfant avec saint jean-baptiste, saint sebàstien et deux donateurs", giovanni antonio boltraffio. No mention of tartan underpants. huh. I'm going to brave la joconde now. The crowd is ten deep. Pushing, shoving, at the front. I don't see the attraction. Androgynous, smirking, countryside. And? It was cooler when i had twelve. et maintenant? Au cafè! Mais d'abord, neo-classicisme, soft-core porn for the upper-clqsses of the 1800s. Yay. Women didn't have very big breasts back then, did they? Also, there is the requisite "Wanker on a Horse wearing skin tight clothes", charmingly retitled "Joachim Murat (1767-1815), Roi du Naples" by the french. There was one I liked, but can no longer find, of a young couple sitting in a park. As is compulsory in these masterpieces, one of her breasts appears to have 'fallen' out of her dress. his head is nestled in her neck, her right arm around his left shoulder, his right hand having sneaked its way onto her left (covered) breast. (was this more acceptable in the society of the age? you can touch ladies' breasts in public but only if they -the breasts- are clothed?) His eyes are half closed and he looks quite happy just where he is, thank you very much. She is staring straight head, enduring the indignity for his sake because even though he's a sex crazed idiot, she still loves him. also, she knows that he knows that she will rip it off if he goes a-wondering to the park with other young maidens. This is another painting that strikes a chord, and I am sad to have lost it as i do not have the title or artist. Another time, perhaps. now to the cafe, my feet are killing me.
after this I took a tour of the shops, there being some nice ones near the entrance to the métro. and then I went home at four rather tired out from all this art appreciation. i will write another entry detailing my other adventures at the end of the week, once I have had some that don't involve getting lost, or getting hit on by old ugly people.
love to you all,
kate the art critic.