THE LOUVRE 2013 | Paris

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This has got to be the most secure piece of art in the world. So much grand emotion and admiration for something so unexpectedly small.

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We made a beeline for Leonardo’s masterpiece once we got through the early morning crowd at the hugely imposing and endless Louvre. Though some say the woman with the mystic smile is really Leonardo in drag, I’d rather believe it was a real woman named Lisa del Gioconda. Given all the hoopla surrounding her portrait, and the enduring appeal and accompanying songs sung in its name, she definitely earned her money’s worth.

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Given the many superlatives for this city, it’s no wonder a lof of people come to visit. Having the most famous, most important art museum in the world certainly has its perks – namely, having a lot of incomparable, unforgettable art. It was a whole lot of Louvre.

The Winged Victory of Samothrace. 

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A whole wall of Rembrandts. 

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Vermeer’s The Lacemaker.

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St. Mary Magdalene in wood.

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Michelangelo’s Dying Slave and Rebellious Slave.

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The grand Coronation of Emperor Napoleon.

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The Venus de Milo.

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It may be because I’ve seen them many times before but what really caught my eye wasn’t so much the better-known pieces but rather this particularly obscure one. It’s a marble relief of a woman seemingly mourning her man, who has now himself become but a memory in sculpture. Quite haunting and sad at the same time. Now that’s a cold and lonely, lovely work of art.

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