Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Louvre Visit - Part 3 of 3 Things I Did Not Know.

This feels more like finishing homework than a blog entry, but I must post the final photos from the First Sunday Louvre visit. One could start a blog just on the Louvre items and go on for a few years! There's just so much to see and learn, it's incredible!

The Denon Wing of the Louvre. (There are 3 wings: The Richelieu, Sully and Denon)

This final tour is of a few special pieces in the Louvre. The beauty, power and strength of women is well represented.

Venus de Milo

I suppose everyone has seen photos or sculptures of Venus de Milo, one of the most famous Ancient Greek Statues, discovered in 1820 on the Greek island of Melos. Her age dates back to Before Christ, 2nd century (100BC).

Maybe I know of Venus because I lived in Greece from the 6th Grade (where I met my Best Friend Marilena...probably sipping on wine in NYC reading this blog right now) until Freshman year in High School.

Venus is the Greek Goddess of Love and Beauty.

Anne of Austria Apartments.

The apartment of Anne of Austria (I had no idea people really did live in the space of the Louvre). Anne was the mother of Louis XIV. She had her summer apartment built here in 1655 with a bedroom overlooking the Seine.
Apartment of Anne of Austria.
The apartment rooms were converted in 1799 into the gallery we see today.
Winged Goddess of Victory.

Next it was on to, the Winged Goddess of Victory. Once again, am I the only one that did not know Nike means "Victory" in Greek? I thought it meant "Just Do It!". (Just kidding.)
Winged Goddess of Victory - Nike of Samothrace.

This Goddess is also called Nike of Samothrace. She dates back to 190BC and was discovered in 1863 on the island of Samothrace in the beautiful Aegean Sea.

The Virgin of the Rocks - 1503 Da Vinci

I also strolled past the works of Leonardo da Vinci, the Italian Renaissance artist we all know, born in 1452. The Louvre has the largest collection of Leonardo de Vinci's works (Okay, it's only about 5 paintings, but still the Louvre brags it is the largest collection) to include the Mona Lisa.
Mona Lisa.

"Are you going to see La Gioconda?" my French friend asked when I said I was going to the Louvre. "The What?" I asked. "La Gioconda. You know La Joconde." he elaborated. I looked more puzzled. "The woman with the smile." he clarified. "Oh, you mean the Mona Lisa?" I asked. "Yeah." he said.

And yet again, am I the only one that did not know the French don't always call the Mona Lisa the Mona Lisa?, I never noticed she has no eyebrows, And my final confession of ignorance...I really thought the woman's name was Mona Lisa, like Ana-Maria, Marie-Claude (two of my friends) , or Mary Jane. But Non! Mona Lisa is just short for Madonna ("My Lady") Lisa. Her name Lisa (meaning the wife of) the wealthy man she was married to, last name Gioconda. (Which is where the original name La Gioconda came from. Oh?!)

The other well known name (by the French) is La Joconde, which means "Light Hearted Woman".

Honestly, am I really the only one who missed these facts in High School?


  1. you're not the only one! i really thought her name was mona lisa too until i googled it after i saw her painting at le louvre :o

  2. Ah, thank goodness there's two of us that knew her as! Thanks for sharing your comment...I feel MUCH better now! (I hope you're at least older than 12..hahhaaa)