I wandered the halls of the Lourve, intentionally finding the empty halls, the ones with no crowds of hustling tourists. Past Iranian pottery and tiles, past Egyptian sarcophagi, through a medieval ruin, down amazing halls with ridiculous ceilings, up stairs down stairs around this corner… I’m seeking the empty corners of this very big museum because I don’t want to see Zee. I’m angry at him, and right now the introvert in me wants to be as far away from everyone as possible.
Five years ago when I wrote The List, I definitely didn’t imagine a trip to the Lourve to be something like this. I didn’t think that I’d be angrily stalking through the corridors. Willing people out of my path. I thought it would be full of awe and amaze. It’s really hard to feel awe and amaze when fifty tourists are jostling you with their elbows so they can get a bad quality shot of a master piece on their iPad. Holding out their iPhone to get selfie with a piece of work that’s over six hundred years old.
I feel less amaze than I thought. I’m mostly impressed with the building, and how glorious all the hidden corners are. As I type this, I’m in a stairwell. I’m sitting on a marble bench, and the three ceilings (one for each of the two staircases up and down and one for the platform on which I’m sitting) are intricate and detailed and amazing. Yet not one of the handful of people walking by has looked up.
This building has so much gorgeousness going on that your eyes kind of glaze over a bit. The Lourve glaze.
An hour and a half later and I have well and truly wandered many the halls. Neapolean had some truly balla apartments. There is an awful lot of stuff to see, we stayed till closing, and oh. Sculptures, paintings, tiles, weaponry, archeological finds, ruins, furniture, rugs, jewellery… All of the things. And I’m aware that I’ve only seen a very small part of all there is.
I found Zee towards closing time, I managed to lose him after Venus de Milo. He was taken with the courtyard of impressive sculpture, filled with big, powerful Roman sculpture. Very impressive. He’d spent most of his time in the main building, where I had fled to the wings.
We fought in the courtyard, right by the Pyramide du Lourve. One of those emotional, stroppy all out arguments where he pushes all my fears out into the open and I lash out because how dare he. It was rough, and emotional. By the time we’d hit the Tuileries we’d made up with a do over. Quiet sniffles and small apologies and holding of hands and all of the argument after feelings.
That’s mostly what I remember about The Lourve. All of the emotions. Seems fitting.
2nd-century marble sculpture of the Greek goddess Nike, The Winged Victory of Samothrace, just hanging out in a hallway.
Venus de Milo, one of the most famous works of ancient Greek sculpture apparently. Sculpted in 100 BC. Now satisfies audiences of phones and tablets.
These next few are from the fanciest room I wandered into. It was ridiculous. It’s called The Galerie d’Apollon. A young Henry James wrote of the Gallery once “the wondrous Galerie d’Apollon…drawn out for me as a long but assured initiation and seeming to form, with its supreme coved ceiling and inordinately shining parquet, a prodigious tube or tunnel through which I inhaled little by little, that is again and again, a general sense of glory. The glory meant ever so many things at once, not only beauty and art and supreme design, but history and fame and power, the world in fine raised to the richest and noblest expression.”
Needless to say – fancy as fuck.
The detail was insane. Next up – Napoleons apartments. Dude certainly had it lush.
This guy kept me company in a stairwell. Look at that moustache! Pretty fancy for a stairwell.
So yes, #65, done.