against the Vikings. At the time of Francis I, its towers were destroyed, and a palace in the Renaissance style was built in their place. Since then, during four centuries, different kings and emperors had rebuilt and expanded the palace. The nowadays collection of works of art in the Louvre is very big, and it is hardly possible to see it all at one time. Another useful tip, there are always long lines and a lot of visitors to the Louvre. On Wednesdays and Fridays it is open until 10 pm, so if you want to avoid the crowds, plan a visit to the museum during those days.
As for priorities, we decided to not try to grasp the immensity, and went to the Louvre for an hour and a half to see three most famous masterpieces, "three women" - Aphrodite of Milos, Nike of Samothrace and Mona Lisa.
Here’s the decoration of the ceiling of one of the halls dedicated to the art of ancient Greece:
Aphrodite of Milos is one of the most famous sculptures of ancient Greece, dating from about 130 and 100 BC. In the Pushkin Museum there is its copy, but here in
this is the original, found in 1820 on the island of Milos in the Aegean Sea:
Here are some more pictures of the Greek Hall:
Nike of Samothrace, another famous ancient Greek sculpture of the Louvre, was found in 1863 on the island of Samothrace. The sculpture dates back to 190 BC. The statue of the goddess Nike was erected by the inhabitants of the island of Rhodes in memory of the victory over the Syrian king's fleet. She stood on a cliff above the sea, and its pedestal portrayed a warship's nose:
And finally, here’s the third woman. It is impossible to imagine Louvre without the famous "Mona Lisa" by Leonardo da Vinci. First Italian biographers of Leonardo da Vinci wrote about a part this picture played in artist’s life. Leonardo devoted himself to this work with a particular passion. He devoted all his time to her, and leaving Italy, he took it with him to France among some other selected paintings. Da Vinci had a special affection for this portrait, he spent a lot of time thinking during the process of its creation.
The Portrait of Mona Lisa is one of the best examples of the portrait genre of the Italian High Renaissance. Critics emphasize how organically the artist combined a portrait of the individual characteristics and the landscape, and how much it has increased the dignity of the portrait.
Despite the fact that "Mona Lisa" was highly appreciated by artist's contemporaries, later its fame had faded. Up until the 19th century, no one had particularly talked about this painting.
A further rise of the picture’s fame is associated with its mysterious disappearance as a result of theft in 1911 and a happy return to the museum a few years later. Nowadays the "Mona Lisa" is one of the most famous paintings of the Western European art. Its loud reputation is associated not only with its high artistic merit but also with the atmosphere of mystery surrounding this work.
The is the hall where "Mona Lisa" "lives":
Here’s another famous painting - "Wounded Cuirassier" by Theodore Gericault:
And here are views of the halls of the Louvre:
The Louvre is one of the most famous museums in the world. It’s a great success to walk through its halls, enjoy the greatest masterpieces of the art world. Paris is worth visiting at least because of this museum. :)