Holy crap, the Louvre is impressive. I know — that’s kind of like saying “the Beatles are a pretty good band” or “hey, you know Citizen Kane? It’s worth watching!” Everyone knows this already.
But it’s still worth repeating: if you find yourself in Paris, you should probably go to the Louvre, even if you’re not a big museum person.
For one thing, the sheer volume of great art on display is almost exhausting. There’s so much to see. I wasn’t lingering all that much, and I might have missed parts of the gallery (the way the museum is laid out is super confusing), and I was still there for almost three hours.
Plus, I had assumed it was mostly paintings, but there’s also an impressive amount of sculptures and other art on display. I was there for over an hour before I even saw my first painting.
The museum itself is something to behold; there’s one room in particular that’s absolutely breathtaking.
I should note, however, that the way they’re exhibiting their most famous painting (and probably the most famous painting in the world), the Mona Lisa, is exceptionally dumb.
Aside from the fact that it’s behind plexiglass, there’s a big wooden barrier that would theoretically keep everyone about five or six feet away, and then another barrier (because apparently the one barrier isn’t good enough?) that ensures that no one can get within about ten feet of the painting. It’s absurd.
You’ve probably heard that the Mona Lisa is surprisingly small — between the size, the glass barrier, and the sheer distance you have to squint at it from, it’s completely impossible to actually appreciate the painting. The way they have it set up basically just gives you the right to say that you saw the Mona Lisa, and… that’s about it.
It kinda sucks, but then let’s face it — the Mona Lisa isn’t the nicest painting in the Louvre by a long shot, and it’s the only one with the absurd security measures.
But it’s obvious what everyone’s there to see. The room with the Mona Lisa, and the rooms surrounding it, are a complete madhouse. But everything else is only slightly crowded. The floor above the Mona Lisa — which has some amazing, very well known paintings — is practically deserted. Everyone’s pretty much like “is it the Mona Lisa? Is it Mona Lisa adjacent? No? NOT INTERESTED.”
There are some fun paintings too, like this internet famous one.
Or this one of a woman and her baby both giving some pretty serious side-eye.