The Miraculous Louvre

By: Vasilisa

It's impossible to visit France and not to attend one of the main attractions of the French capital - the Louvre. The biggest and the most famous world museum was opened to public on August 10, 1793. Before that it used to be a private museum available only to the elite of the court. The palace, where the museum is situated, is more than 800 years old, being initially a fortress of Philip Augustus. Today there is a special exhibition devoted to this page of the museum history. Works of all historical epochs and art currents (up to the XIX century) are represented in the Louvre. The Italian collection, which is considered to be the best outside the limits of Italy, has always attracted connoisseurs, tourists and artists from all over the world.
The Louvre obtained its present look in 1871 and for a long time it remained unchanged, until in 1981 Francois Mitterand started a large-scale reconstruction. This is when the famous glass pyramid was built. The newest Paris sight is much disputed about. Its author Leoh Ming Pei placed it in the Napoleon Court. There's a definite logic in this act as Napoleon is the man who revealed the charm of Egypt to Europe. It's necessary to bear in mind that one should talk to Parisians about the Pyramid very carefully.

To praise it means to show no taste, and criticism of it can be regarded as an insult to the national feelings of the Parisians.
By the way it is probably the only sight of the Louvre, which is available for a detailed examination, especially in the high season, when the queues into the museum are really fantastic.
Inside the building one can easily lose his head because of a multitude of the exhibits. There are more than 400,000 of them (although not all are on display of course). The most famous are three of them: The Joconde - Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Let's talk about the Ladies in details.
The Winged Victory of Samothrace (a Greek goddess Nike) is a statue of a stunning beauty. It is created with such an unsurpassed skill that it looks alive. The Victory is one of the great surviving masterpieces of sculpture from the Hellenistic period, despite the fact that the figure is significantly damaged, missing its head and outstretched arms. The sculpture is thought to date from the period 220 to 190 BC. The statue stands on a rostral pedestal of gray marble representing the prow of a ship, and figures the goddess as she descended from the skies to the triumphant fleet. Rendered in white Parian marble, the figure originally formed part of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods.
Venus de Milo is the most popular statue of the antique Goddess of Love in the world. It owns the name to the fact that the statue was found in 1820 on the Milos Island. Initially it was considered to be a masterpiece of the 5th century BC, but later the scientists identified that it is much younger. But that didn't lessen people's love for the statue.
Mona Lisa by Lonardo da Vinci is the most mysterious and probably the most popular work in the world. It is considered to be a portrait of a Florentine lady. But there are many other versions about the personality depicted, according to some of them it is not even a woman. New sensational "clues" to the mystery of her charming smile appear every day. But no one can really understand what emotions hides the picture painted in the sfumato technique, so adored by Lonardo da Vinci.
The ladies are not the only attractions of the Louvre. It is filled with masterpieces that enrapture and amaze. Once visited the museum, you'll want to come back in the one of the first European museums time and time again!

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