We got into the Louvre when it opened, rushed to the Mona Lisa and there were only about 50 or so people crowded in front of her, making it easy to get up to the rope to get the closest view possible. The Mona Lisa is the perfect portrait of the perfect model in the perfect pose. She is like a self portrait of how everyone would like to see themselves, and the reflections in the multiple layers of glass protecting the Mona Lisa adds to the sense of the portrait as a reflection of our own portraits.
After three hours in the Louvre we had browsed the entire Italian and Spanish painters wing and then went through the exhibit on Egyptian art and culture. In the Spanish sections, there was a small exhibit of plates by Goya, where I got the photo of the woman looking out the window that almost matched Goya’s woman on a horse.
One thing really nice about our apartment being so close to the Louvre is that we go back to the apartment and fix lunch before we go out again. Laurie made crepes for lunch that were wonderful, and then we strolled through the Tuileries on our way to the Musée l’Orangerie where they have expressionist paintings by Cézanne, Renior, Monet, Picaso, Rousseau, etc. Along the way we saw goats mowing a moat, a teenage bird bigger than its mother still asking her to feed it, duckings napping, flowers starting to bloom, iris and a few roses.