If you should visit but one museum in Paris, of course it will be “le Louvre”, the largest and best known of all. But also so huge that you can’t expect to see all of it in one visit, unless you want to to run as fast as you can throughout exhibition rooms, as Anna Karina, Samy Frey and Claude Brasseur did in Jean-Luc Godard ‘s film “Bande à Part”(1964). (Their purpose was not to see anything).
If you come to the Louvre on subway – station “Louvre Palais Royal” has a direct access to the museum through “Carousel du Louvre”, which is nothing more than an underground shopping center, leading to the museum entrance hall. It is very convenient when it’s pouring rain or snow outside. But otherwise, you should prefer to go out “place du Palais Royal”.
Entering through Richelieu hallway, you can catch a glimpse of the recently renovated antique sculpture department.
And at the end of this dark hallway, meet the glittering of the glass pyramid.
This pyramid in the middle of the museum main courtyard was designed by I.M.Pei, and is one of the greatest success of mix between classical and modern architecture – though before it was built in 1989, there were petitions against it, there are only few people still complaining since.
Anyway, it gave an impulsion for museum’s renovation, as for the Apollo’s gallery which recently reopened.
The museum is divided in three wings, Richelieu, Sully and Denon. In the lobby, you will find a map to guide you.
I strongly advise you to come with an idea of what you wish to see on your visit. You also want to have a B plan, in case the rooms you’re interested in should be closed on that day. To help you in your choice, you can make a virtual visit on : ttp://www.louvre.fr/llv/musee/visite_virtuelle.jsp
Of course, Mona Lisa and Samothrace Victory will always be waiting for you,
but there are a lot of other works to see. You can also get an idea of exhibition rooms opening in closing times at : http://cartelfr.louvre.fr/cartelfr/visite?srv=crt_frm_rs&langue=fr&initCritere=true
There are always also temporary exhibitions, and various events (films, conferences, concerts…) Programs on : http://www.louvre.fr/llv/commun/home.jsp
One of this events finishing tomorrow December 7 is Anselm Kiefer’s triptych. Since Georges Braque fifty years ago it is the first time that Louvre museum gives a space to a modern artist. It is on the first floor of north stairs, next to Ancient Egypt sector.
This 2007 work has been specially made for this staircase’s shape. One feels Antique Egypt spirit influence, in the funeral aspect of this triptych, and material used :
Athanor : shellac emulsion, chalk, lead, silver and gold on linen canvas.
Danaé : lead, gold, metal, resin.
hortus conclusus : plaster, aluminium, shellac, acrylic.
Musée du Louvre, entrance by Pyramid or Carousel, station Palais Royal, 75001 Paris, tel 33(0)1 40 20 53 17, open everyday but Tuesday 9 to 18, Wednesday and Friday up to 22. Price 9 euros, you can buy your ticket in advance on : http://www.louvre.fr/llv/pratique/tarifs.jsp?tarif=4