Saturday, August 25, 2012

Paris Gives Me Museumittus

Paris, the city of lights. What’s not to love about a city chalk full of some of the most famous museums on Earth? Take the Louvre for example. An art junkie like me could spend a whole week walking the galleries and still not come up for air. Having taken my fair share of Art History classes in college, nothing is more rewarding than seeing an amazing work of art I studied up close and personal. To walk through a gallery of sculptures from ancient Rome and Egypt makes me appreciate how artists through out time have made their mark on the world. 

There is also no better place than a famous museum for people watching. Everyone arrives with certain expectations.  I love to eavesdrop on conversations.  It’s like writers gold.  

Here are a few snippets from my time roaming the Louvre.

Standing in the Roman sculpture gallery I heard two guys talking about one particularly impressive piece of art.

“I guess the Romans really worked out. This guy’s ripped.”

“Yeah, they were major warriors.”
“So what's the deal with the tiny dicks.” 

“Must have taken ancient steroids.”

While standing on the steps in front of The Winged Victory of Samothrace I overheard two British women talking about the famous sculpture.  

“Lovely draping in the gown.”

“Yes, quite well done.”

“The wings are so nicely executed. I can count the feathers.

Yes, quite remarkable.”     

“She looks formidable don’t you think?”

“Yes, quite the impressive bust line.”

My favorite was a guy I stood next while waiting in line waiting to see the Mona Lisa.  After taking fifteen minutes to finally get close to the painting the guy turned to me and said, “What the Hell? This painting is so damn famous but why is it so damn small?”

I wasn’t surprised by his reaction. When I studied the painting in Art History class I thought it must be at least four feet tall.  Didn’t help that the painting took up almost the entire surface of the projection screen. I couldn’t believe it when I read the paintings dimensions in my textbook—an unimpressive twenty-one by thirty inches. 

The guy strained to get a better view. “I can barely see the face. I just don’t get it.” 

I gave him a Mona Lisa smile. “Maybe da Vinci ran out of canvas.” 


  1. Haha when I went to Paris last year, I said the exact same thing about the Mona Lisa :)