Some Large Paintings in the Louvre

I’m back home and starting to unpack my brief museum tour in Paris. I had a notebook with me and thought I’d write some things down on the blog based on the hasty scribblings I made while trying not to think about how much feet hurt in order to create some sort of structured memory about the experience. If I had had a camera with me this would be easier, but then I might have concentrated on taking pictures of paintings and sculptures instead of looking at them. It may be better like this, just to pick out pics from Wikipedia and look back at what happened when I was standing in front of the actual paintings.

Let’s start with the big ones. These are huge canvasses which are located on the first floor. There’s a few rooms dedicated to large French paintings with a few quite famous ones. The best known is probably Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People.

Source: Wikipedia

The Mona Lisa is in the adjacent room, so there’s always a crowd in these halls. The hall of large French paintings is also next to a long corridor of a good number of other Italian masterworks and the crowds can be quite daunting there as well. In any case, the large paintings are absolutely huge and thus it’s not difficult to find a place where you can get a good look at them. Liberty is gorgeous, but it seems understated, huge as it may be, next to some other Delacroix paintings which are even bigger. Take, for instance, Death of Sardanapalus nearby, its size matching the Asiatic excesses of its subject matter.

Source: Wikipedia

Or the The Entry of the Crusaders in Constantinople which does the same to Western excesses.

Source: Wikipedia

Despite the immense size of the latter two and the masterful execution that screams Delacroix’s genius, there is one other painting nearby which dominates these rooms. It is The Raft of the Medusa by Théodore Géricault.

Source: Wikipedia

It is ridiculously huge (491×717 cm) and ridiculously powerful in its simple fuck you attitude. You can’t top something like this. Not even Delacroix has trumped this behemoth. His paintings surround it, but to no avail, although he probably would not mind losing to his friend in this game. I’m told he even posed for Géricault as one of the dying figures. Funny seeing the young Eugène slain like that before he even got to painting the masterpieces that would vie for attention in this gorgeous hall full of monsters.

1 Response to “Some Large Paintings in the Louvre”

  1. 1 Art in Paris « nonvisedvoce Trackback on January 30, 2012 at 22:38

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