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Old 05-10-2013, 05:34 PM   #1
RossMay
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Ninja Turtles at the Louvre

This April my wife and I went to Europe (Paris, Hamburg, Berlin, Vienna and Salzburg). We did all sorts of great things, but I thought I would mention here about going to the Louvre and seeing the Ninja Turtles' Renaissance namesakes.

http://www.louvre.fr/sites/default/f...on-english.pdf
This is a link to a pdf map. If you want to follow along with what I'm talking about, click the link.

If you're ever going to Paris yourself, I recommend you check out the Louvre's website and study up on it a bit first. I can also highly recommend a Paris Museum Pass. As the name suggests, it gets you into most of Paris's museums and monuments. On top of saving you money if you go to enough places (you will), it's really fantastic for letting you skip ticket lines everywhere. Speaking of lines...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWtgdymcZNY

If you go to the Louvre, don't go through the entrance at the glass pyramid. You'll be waiting a LONG time. There are other entrances, and we used this one seen in the youtube video on rue de rivoli. Almost every entrance eventually gets you to the same place underneath the Louvre (again, study the map on the official website). I also recommend you go to the museum before it opens up, as it's your best shot at viewing the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo without a mob of people around you.

There are great things to see everywhere in the Louvre, but the greatest hits (and coincidentally, everything Ninja Turtles) is in the Denon wing. When you're underneath the largest glass pyramid, go up a set of escalators to Denon. After showing your ticket or pass you're in the basement floor of that wing. After that, it's just a matter of following the signs to it. You'll know you're on the right track because everyone else is going the same way, and you'll pass by the Victory of Samothrace.





On the top floor of Denon you'll be in the long, Italian Renaissance Hallway. Near the beginning of this hallway you'll find the Mona Lisa room on your right.





Don't forget there are other paintings in this room. Seriously, apparently some visitors don't look around.

You can pass through this room to French art, which you should probably look at eventually, but a good idea is to go back to the hallway you came and check out Italian Renaissance masters. Leonardo's other work is out here, and the funny/awful thing is that a lot of people walk right by them.





Personally, I like Portrait of an Unknown Lady the best, more than the Mona Lisa.

Story time: A lot of the Italian Renaissance paintings at the Louvre were taken by Napoleon's army (including the huge painting opposite the Mona Lisa, called the Wedding at Cana). Not so with Leonardo's paintings. During the final years of his life Leonardo was invited by French King Francis I to come live in France. In fact a legend goes that Leonardo died in Francis I's arms, though this didn't really happen. The paintings and drawings Leonardo had with him in France were bequeathed to his assistant/probably lover Salai (also the model for his portrait of St. John the Baptist, also in the Louvre). Salai sold the collection to Francis I, and it passed down through the French monarchy and, after the revolution, to the French people.

You'll find Raphael not far as well in the same hallway. I've always considered Raphael a step down from Leonardo, and seeing his work in person hasn't changed my mind. Still, his work is more impressive when you see the real thing (great colours, more detail than you might realise).



If you're on a Ninja Turtles track, after seeing Leonardo and Raphael you'll want to go downstairs a floor. The quickest way is back where you came from, passing by the Victory of Samothrace again.

When you're on the main floor, look at a map or follow the signs to everybody's favourite Ninja Turtle namesake, Venus de Milo.



Kidding aside, how weird is it the other turtles are named after Italian Renaissance masters while she was named after an ancient Greek statue?

Venus de Milo is the second most popular piece in the museum, so it's a good idea to check it out in the morning at the very least.

Michelangelo's Dying Slave and Rebellious Slave statues are on this floor as well. Walk to the very end of Denon until you find the room named after the master, the Michelangelo room. You can tell who really matters here because there are dozens of other statues in here, yet Michelangelo gets the room named after him.



Another story: So these statues were being made by Michelangelo for Pope Julius II, who was still alive but commissioned Michelangelo to make them for his eventual tomb. Those of you who know your art history will know that Michelangelo was the artist who was especially hot-headed and didn't get along with his peers (as opposed to Raphael the turtle). Supposedly, a story goes that the younger Raphael and another artist named Donato Bramante told Pope Julius II, "It's bad luck to commission your own tomb while you're still alive. Hey, why not get Michelangelo to quit what he's doing and have him paint that Sistine Chapel you have empty right now?" It's doubtful Raphael and Bramante ever said anything of the sort, but there's enough evidence that Michelangelo did actually hear this story, which gave him a reason to hate Raphael and Bramante because he originally never wanted the Sistine Chapel job, being a sculptor.



If you go to the far end of the Michelangelo room you can go down some stairs. Directly underneath the Michelangelo room is the Donatello room! Donatello is the odd man out of the turtles' namesakes (I mean, besides Venus), having never met the other three because he was much older. Donatello died when Leonardo would have been 14. He's famous for frescoes, and the Donatello room is entirely dedicated to Italian Renaissance frescoes.
This room, which primarily made out of marble, by the way, was used as a stable during the time of Napoleon the III.

There you have it, a Ninja Turtles-centric tour of the Louvre. They're all relatively close, with Leonardo and Raphael being pretty close together in the same hallway and Michelangelo's statues being directly above Donatello's work. While you can check these things out, I'd highly recommend you look everywhere else as well. We spent 7 hours total here, and it was probably our favourite part of Paris. Be sure to check out the French paintings in Denon, the Egyptian treasures brought over by Napoleon, the Code of Hammurabi and the various paintings in the Richelieu Wing.

If you want a definite list of the works by the "Ninja Turtles" artists at the Louvre, here they are (except Michelangelo, who just has the two slave statues there).

http://cartelen.louvre.fr/cartelen/v...gue=fr&x=0&y=0

http://cartelen.louvre.fr/cartelen/v...y=20&langue=fr

http://cartelen.louvre.fr/cartelen/v...y=20&langue=fr
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Last edited by RossMay; 05-10-2013 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:39 PM   #2
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A little extra. In Berlin there's "Museum Island," where you can see a lot of great things. One of them is the Bode Museum, dedicated to Italian and German Renaissance works of art. Found some Donatello frescoes here as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bode_Museum





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Old 05-10-2013, 06:01 PM   #3
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Nice pics!

Now I wanna read the controversial popular novel about Leonardo's "De Milo Code."
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:04 PM   #4
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Wow! Thanks for the field trip Ross!

I hope one day I can go to paris and explore the museum myself.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:08 PM   #5
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Off to Paris later this year and going to visit the Louvre so thank you for sharing all the great tips The photographs are beautiful, I can't wait to see the works up close.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:36 PM   #6
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Thanks for sharing RossMay! Hope you and your wife are having a great time in Europe!
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:47 PM   #7
RossMay
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That's great, Blossombrooks. I'm sure you'll have a good time.

I gave myself a crash course on French art before we went. My pal Diego Jourdan shared this video with me. If you're going to know one artist when visiting the Louvre, Jacques-Louis David is the person to be aware of.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY2EqAKpKzg

Random bits of advice for Paris:
-You can reserve a time to go up the Eiffel Tower on its website. You're gambling because you might pick a day with poor weather, but really cuts down on waiting in lines.

-European washrooms frequently have attendants, and you need to pay them half a euro or so to use them. So keep some change on you all the time. (This is probably the worst thing I can say about Europe and European culture. I wouldn't mind paying to use a washroom if it was noticeably cleaner than North American public washrooms, but that's not the case at all. Not trying to freak anyone out, but I generally found washrooms in Europe less clean than North American ones.)
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:33 PM   #8
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Regarding Michelangelo and Raphael. I have a book on the renaissance and it says that Michelangelo wanted Raphael to do the Sistine Chapel as he was younger but Raphael refused so that gave Michelangelo an excuse to hate Raphael. Michelangelo and Leonardo were also MAJOR rivals and even had contests to see which one was better. *lol*

Michelangelo tho worshiped the ground Donatello walked on and was inspired by alot of his work (which is why Michelangelo did his David sculpture after Donatello's bronze work).

Incidentally Raphael did eventually do some ceiling work in what is now the Raphael wing of the Vatican.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:23 AM   #9
RossMay
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It's definitely true that Michelangelo balked at the idea of doing the Sistine Chapel - he saw himself as primarily a sculptor, and it would have been hard work, though he did have a staff of apprentices. Mind you, he did end up accepting the job the job in the end.

It's hard to know if Raphael was suggested for the ceiling at all, and if so, by whom. The story about him suggesting Michelangelo is probably untrue, yet some historians like to think Michelangelo believed in it, as he just went around hating all his contemporaries for every imaginable reason.

You're right about Raphael doing work in the Vatican. While he didn't paint the roof of the Sistine Chapel at all, after Michelangelo was done Raphael did tapestries that hung on the walls there.

I think you hit on something there, Raph's Girl, about Donatello. Michelangelo could only appreciate another artist if they were dead, so they couldn't bother him in some way or compete with him.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:44 AM   #10
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Wow. Awesome pics, Ross. Thanks for sharing that and giving us a bit of background on the works themselves. I think it would be cool to visit the Louvre and see these works.
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