Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Things to see in the Louvre that are not the Mona Lisa: Architecture

Forgetting even the art, the Architecture of the Louvre is worth study. The sculpture gallery, for example:

Now, certainly, this is not my favorite, Gothic Architecture (more on that another day. Much, much more.) For one thing, Gothic Architecture always has vertical windows. That pyramid glass must be an absolute pain to clean... in any case, the sense of size and open courtyard feel is amazing. The ascending stairs are monumental. A fitting garden for monumental statuary. 

There is also the remains of ancient architecture. This I found particularly stunning - two thousand some year old capitals from an Iranian palace. Check the (tall) man on the right for a size comparison, and then remember, this is the capital. That means that it is only the peak of the pillar. In this palace, there would have been a hundred and fifty of these pillars, bracing the ceiling, and they would have been some fifty meters above the ground. The floor plan would have been open. Imagine that palace, which no one has seen for two thousand years.

One last shot of a sculpture dwarfing the gallery.

(Source: )

Also, not quite my favorite spiral staircase ever (spiral staircases are awesome). My favorite is in the Vatican (I'll show you that one sometime.) Still, this one is cool. And yes, that pillar in the middle is an elevator.

1 comment:

  1. 1. That spiral staircase is pretty cool though; if only it were about twice as tall. (Speaking of spirals, have you read the manga Uzumaki? If not, I would strongly suggest it if you have any interest in a bizarre and surreal bit of horror.

    2. "Nothing beside remains. Round the decay / Of that colossal wreck"... You make a good point in your description of the pillar. Whether sculpture be architectural or not, it has the tendency to preserve the awe and grandeur of the whole within the surviving part, another quality I appreciate.