March 22, 2009

Poo-pooing Paintings in Paris

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This past week, my boyfriend visited me during Cornell’s spring break, and so I celebrated as if it were mine, too (SPRING BREAK 2009!).
Maybe it wasn’t as buckwild as Cancún would have been, but we did do a lot of touristy things, as one might expect. The most shocking and disappointing realization to come of these was that the Louvre kind of sucks. Like, really.
Granted, we made a beeline for the Mona Lisa, which required a winding jaunt through Italian, Greek and French portraiture — and saw nothing else. But talk about BOR-ing! If it wasn’t religious bullskeet, it was naked bullskeet. If it wasn’t naked bullskeet, it was portrait bullskeet of petit bourgeois no one’d probably ever heard of. Frankly, the best part was the group of Americans gathered in front of the Delacroix painting featured on Coldplay’s latest album, Viva la Vida. The second best part was when I started singing “Viva la Vida” in front of the Delacroix painting. The third best part was finally reaching the Mona Lisa and seeing it for myself — except that it’s way smaller than you might imagine, and therefore, kind of lame. The scrum in front of the painting was more impressive than the thing itself.
Despite my cynicism, one good thing the Louvre had going for itself was its architecture. A palace initially constructed by Henri IV and added to by successors, each room in the Louvre touted a different style from a gamut of epoques. So in a lot of cases, after becoming too overwhelmed to stand in a statuesque orgy with one hundred other tourists, I scrutinized the filaments and crown molding more intently than I scrutinized the external anatomies of hundreds of naked dudes and chicks.
Of course I’m kind of kidding: the Louvre has a reputation for a reason, but thank gosh I can at last say that this break, I accomplished seeing something “I should see before I die” and never have to return. Ever.