Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mona Mania

The Louvre was quite a full-frontal assault on the senses after the morning of relatively quiet looking. It was loud, hot, impossibly crowded (like ants in a hill) and filled with forbidden popping flashes and tired tourists. The first 45 minutes of the experience was, frankly, disorienting and disillusioning. Was this to be our Louvre experience? But we rested, moved away from the vortex of insanity--Room 6-- where a certain Leonardo painting hangs, we adjusted and we enjoyed ourselves AND saw amazing art.

But here is a slice of what I like to think of as a kind of madness for the Mona Lisa:

1. A "fast track" to The Mona Lisa, which actually prevents one from seeing things like, Michelangelo's Slaves, Raphael's Madonna of the Meadow, etc., etc.

2. The unbelievable mosh pit of tourists crushing forward to see (and snap) said portrait. My favorite part about this image are the warning signs flanking Mona that warn you, the viewer, to be aware of potential pickpocketing as you gaze on this "quasi-holy" visage. (Even pickpockets have no shame it appears, and the tourists pushing to the front were no better in that regard.)

3. Stage right.

4. At the front--I am stunned to find a.) that she has either been turned into the nicest piece of office decor or an altarpiece and b.) that I can't get anywhere near Mona. She has a 3 foot wooden "shelf" in front of her, an additional semi-circular barrier and another rope line (see above). She has more protection than most rock stars can boast.

 5. And now for the snarky...At least at a rock concert people know why they are there.



  1. So disheartening in a way---how in any way at all can this be a positive and meaningful art experience? Thankfully, I am sure there were other quieter, more rewarding moments in the Louvre.

  2. The first time we saw the Mona Lisa she was not behind glass and there were few people. Now I know how lucky we were. What a wonderful experience. P.S. Food is
    great, yes?