Thursday, April 4, 2013

Louvre--Paintings Potpourri

The most famous painting in the Louvre is Leonardo's Mona Lisa from 1504. The French title is La Joconde (or in Italian it's La Gioconda), after her husband's name, Francesco del Giocondo, a Florentine nobleman. In the 1980s the painting was attacked, so now it is behind bulletproof glass, which doesn't allow for good pictures. People were taking snapshots anyway, often trying to get themselves in the picture with her. The painting is surprisingly small.

Mona Lisa, without me stinking up the picture (follow the link for better pics)

Leonardo brought Mona Lisa with him when he was invited by Francois I to live and work in France. Leonardo arrived in 1516 and died three years later.

Opposite the Mona Lisa is Les Noces de Cana by Paolo Caliari, better known as Veronese. He lived from 1528 to 1588 and painted this in 1562-1563 for the refectory of the Benedictines in San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice. The painting depicts Jesus at the wedding in Cana, where He turned water into wine. Veronese took the liberty of depicting the feast as a contemporary Venetian wedding party. The painting is surprisingly huge, an enormous contrast to Leonardo's little painting.

Les Noces de Cana by Veronese (click to enlarge)

Jacopo Robusti (1518-1594), known as Tintoreto, painted this Crowning of the Virgin in Heaven in 1580. It was part of the decorations of the Grand Counsel Room in the Doge's Palace in Venice.

Crowing of the Virgin in Heaven by Tintoreto (click to enlarge)

Also in the halls is Leonardo's other great work, John the Baptist.

Also protected by glass and not easily photographable

The brightness of this next painting caught my eye. It is the Virgin and Child with Two Angels, Saint Rose and Saint Catherine of Alexandria, attributed to Pietro Vannucci, also known as Perugin (1450-1523).

Virgin and Child by Perugin

Another famous painting is the Consecration of Napoleon by Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825). The scene is Notre-Dame, where Napoleon took the crown from the Pope and put it on his own head, crowning himself emperor. He then crowned Josephine as Empress. The canvas is enormous, taking up the entire height of the wall.

Consecration of Napoleon by David (click to enlarge)

A ton of French and Dutch paintings hang in the Louvre but I was not able to see them all. Sometimes it's better to concentrate on highlights rather than try to see everything. Every person's highlights are different, I suppose. These were mine.

Next up, we are off to Mesopotamia, neatly found inside the Louvre!

No comments:

Post a Comment