Friday, January 21, 2011

The Louvre Valentine

Don't you just love the Louvre? How about a Louvre Valentine's Day card? It's one of my latest creations for an upcoming special order. This card features a photograph I took when I visited the Louvre with my tour group in September of 2010. 
During my visit at the world-renowned museum, we were treated to a private tour by an astute gentleman who had worked there for 12 years and then started his own business. How wonderful to experience the Louvre with an expert by your side to make the visit more "interactive."

As we walked through the grand halls and exhibits, I was remembering things from Art History and Art Appreciation classes and was able to ask questions. For instance, I asked, "What does the name 'Louvre' mean?" I was told it might have evolved from a slang/colloquial way of referring to the area that was used before the museum was in place, when it may have been more fortress than castle, and people would say, "Let's go down to the 'lower.'" Lower/Louvre - think how words evolve from Latin and break down, build up. Which brings me to the photo below.

In this photo, look closely at stone blocks. They are on exhibit when you first enter the museum and were unearthed when builders were working on the land where the exhibit stands. Do you see the hearts engraved on the stone (upper right side of the photo and bottom center)? That's a "brand" mark. Back in olden times, the suppliers of the block bricks would carve a simple symbol - in this case, a heart - into the stone, as a way of identifying their business.
 I loved being able to take photos in the Louvre...

I wish I could have taken more!
One of the most interesting things was not just seeing the Mona Lisa on exhibit at the Louvre, but also see all the people trying to take a photograph of that great painting!
So I took a picture of people taking a picture of the Mona Lisa! This was when I officially got separated from my group and almost began to cry like a five-year-old! Thankfully, my tour guide came back and found me.

But what if I were left behind at the Louvre? I wouldn't have minded sleeping under the Mona Lisa and staying another day ...