Visit of one of the most romantic city on earth is absolutely pointless if you not visit the greatest artistic and most researched art piece ever created: Monalisa’s Smile by none other than mastermind and genius Renaissance jewel in the crown, Leonardo da Vinci. I must confess that I was not much intrigued to painting till I developed my ever-hungry reading habit ignited due to Dan Brown’s most famous Da Vinci Code almost 10 years back. I had not a single iota of thought about experiencing Louvre museum at any stage of my life than. But I can count my self lucky to get chance of retracing two of Langdon’s adventures through European countries. (One is definitely Da Vinci Code’s Louvre. Other I will not reveal due to some spoilers for those who are still not infected by reading habit :), and third one on my mind is Vatican city at any time during this year ).
Personal musings aside, let’s get back to the Travelog of second day in Paris. As I was not having much leverage in terms of time in Paris (3 full days at max), I had to preplanned visiting places very much in advance. I knew from start that Louvre museum will eat my whole day for sure. In fact one full day is also not enough if one insist to cover every nooks and crannies presented in map of the museum. And person with historical and artistic stint in heart will have to move and reside in the museum itself. Museum is a treasure trove full of Monuments, Paintings, sculptures, statues, ancient artifacts, tombs, shrouds, mummies, dig outs pottery, ancient weapons, chain mails, thousands of antiques and lot more covering large historical period over different places of world and dynasties. Even if you try to familiarize yourself with artifacts by just reading main labels, it will be sure recipe to completely missed out on any two major sections out of five (If my memory is not betraying me). My advice is to best first get your history brushed up with large broom and prioritize your periods, geographical inclination and eras. For me (and I am pretty much sure that lot others like me), Monalisa alone can be the day savior( By the way, there was much more impressive art gallery holding great paintings from lot many other Renaissance artists other than Leonardo’s master pieces) . Following is just the tiny glimpse in terms of photo guide.
I had let my expectation rise in full flow by visiting two different sections rather than choosing the Paintings section first where Monalisa situated(Which was clearly signposted at numerous places and even in the museum map). Kind of delaying the “moment of life”, so that it could have no chance of getting out of the context, missing the respect and enlightenment from my part. Anyhow Louvre had given proper respect to the painting by allocating one large section of the room giving ample space for visitors to greet the “Smile”. With so many galleries and pathways embedded with small to large rooms occupying immense art collections and paintings, I was afraid at one point rather I missed out my “meeting” which in turn would lead to most embarrassing moment of lifetime. But you know that you reached the right spot when large mass of people swaying to have good look, awestruck by sheer presence, trying to get best snap for the future to ponder on against large white washed blank wall. Until you neared by and be flabbergasted yourself.
Frankly speaking, picture itself is much smaller than anticipation.May be due to the arrangement of being single painting on large blank wall. May be due to cavernous space in front of it which in turn cordoned off in portion to keep the enthusiast seeking intimate company of Monalisa. But still you can feel the profound power and sheer dreaminess emanating from the painting adding to its solemn existence. After all I was witnessing something which was only seen,imagined in books and movies.
I was thinking of having more pictures but it will be disrespect to “The One”(Anyhow Leonardo’s other work along with other artists were also fantastical). Enjoy the pictures and wait for next update with more of the Paris.