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8 In Art/ Paris/ Travel

Paris: Louvre Museum (Part i)

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If you could travel back in time, where would you go? For me it would be a toss up between Ancient Rome and Greece; purely to see the marble statues and architecture in all their original glory! Naturally, when I arrived at the Louvre the marble statues were high on my must-see list.

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Psyche revived by Cupid’s Kiss is probably the most graceful sculpture in the Louvre. The story goes that Psyche was delivering a jar that contained beauty for Venus, but couldn’t resist the curiosity and opened it. Unfortunately, the jar contents had been switched out to contain sleep instead. Cupid plays prince charming and wakes her from her slumber; Sleeping Beauty anyone? I love how the artist Antonio Canova sculpted their bodies to form a sweeping curve upward connecting with a tender embrace in the center. The smooth marble expresses their soft skin, but at the same time creates a rugged rock underneath them. It’s brilliant the way such different textures can be expressed with the same material.

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Something I loved about the sculptures was that they had a bit of a whimsical touch to them. I was first drawn to the sculpture by the beautiful wings and the perfect form, then saw that he was holding a butterfly and flower. Just this small bit of detail added this tender feeling to the overall sculpture, don’t you think?

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Not all the sculptures were soft and delicate, some of them showcased strength and action.Having dabbled in some 3d modeling on the computer before, I have a great appreciation for sculptors and digital artists alike. Even with photo references, sculpting can be a challenge. The slightest detail can make something look off. Considering these sculptures were made roughly a hundred years prior to photography, the realism in the animals are quite a feat! After all, it’s close to impossible to get an animal to pose for you for more than a couple of minutes at a time.

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This was a peculiar sculpture that caught my eye. At first I thought it was because the boy is laughing while tying a noose around the turtle’s head. After reading up on the Louvre’s description, I realized that I’ve never really seen marble sculptures from this period showing teeth. It’s interesting to think that the ideal was not to show teeth back in those days, when these days it’s pretty common to see teeth in smiling pictures and photos.

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This winged beauty was my favorite out of all the sculptures I saw at the Louvre. Known as the Winged Victory of Samothrace, you can almost feel the wind as you gaze up at this magnificent sculpture. The way the folds of her skirts are whipping about her, the dynamic movement in her body, and the outstretched wings full of strength capture this mesmerizing moment that stopped me in my tracks. What do you think it is about sculpture that makes it so powerful? Which one would you like to see in person?

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  • http://ablogbyrobert.com Robert

    Awesome photos, Kim! Cupid Revived by Psyche and the Winged Victory are my two favourite sculptures in The Louvre. There the first things I go to look at whenever I visit. I love how elegant they are both are and it’s so true what you said about the WV, that you can almost feel the wind. You really can! :)

    • http://www.silentlyfree.com/ Kim

      Yes!! They were my favorite as well :D I first went to have a look at the Mona Lisa just to get that off my checklist, but I believe I headed for the sculptures right after :P

  • http://www.sartorialdiner.com/ Stephanie

    You’ve captured these sculptures so beautifully! And I love your descriptions as well. It’s always interesting to see how people capture the same places so differently.

    • http://www.silentlyfree.com/ Kim

      I know I love seeing how other people view the same place and objects through their own lens! It’s so much fun to see it from a different angle or from a different perspective. I love love love that shot of the upside down glass pyramid you took! More so because I struggled with that shot and still not sure if I’m quite happy with how I’ve edited it. I’ll have to see as I write up my next Louvre post :P

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  • http://blog.jessicapei.com/ Jessica @ WONDERMENTARY

    Heh, I noticed that you capture a lot of detail shots! I also made a trip to the Louvre but got tired quickly and left (the heat and huge numbers of people didn’t help). Maybe I’ll give it a shot again when I’m in a better mood next time…

    • http://www.silentlyfree.com/ Kim

      I try to capture details whenever I can, but there are times when I forget because I’m just trying to absorb the whole thing :P By the time I got to the Louvre it was late in the afternoon so it wasn’t very crowded. You should try going in the afternoon on a weekday next time ;)

      • http://blog.jessicapei.com/ Jessica @ WONDERMENTARY

        That’s a good tip; I’ll keep that in mind when/if I go again ;)