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Masterpieces of Louvre, Paris

Mona Lisa and Aphrodite, beauty and love

The Louvre Museum is a must-see when in Paris, but it is enormous and the number of people that get lost in the infinite rooms and corridors is also big. So, if you are going to Paris, and don't want to spend time wandering around places with not so important artworks, here come the tips: there are nine important masterpieces in Louvre, that you should look at first and then juts appreciate whatever you find in front of you.

Starting from the pyramid, you should go first to the Greek Antiquities, on the ground floor, and in the room 7, you'll find Venus de Milo, the armless sculpture of Afrodite, the goddess of beauty and love, dating around 100 BC. What you are going to see is not what you would see two thousand years ago, as the sculpture was coloured and full of jewellery. Going to the first floor, in the Grande Gallerie, you are going to find the star of Louvre, the Mona Lisa. Also known as La Gioconda, what means "cheerful", this portrait is surrounded by mystery and legends. It was painted by Da Vinci around 1503 and is considered to be the most known, the most visited, the most written about work of art in the world.

Right in the same room, you will see the Wedding Feast at Cana, a huge canvas that once adorned a monastery in Venice. The painting shows Christ's first miracle in Cana, but depicting the scene in the Venice of the 16th century, where the work of art was painted. Is important to note Mary, on Christ's right, holding an invisible glass, showing that the wine was over, the man dressed in yellow pouring the water turned into wine, and the group of men at his back witnessing the miracle. On the same floor, in the French Painting zone, you will see The Coronation of Napoleon, a painting completed, after three years of work, in 1807 by Jacques-Louis David, the official painter of Napoleon.

Just in front, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, a Greek statue destroyed by an earthquake and lately reconstructed. The statue was initially on a prow of a ship, and has come to be considered the masterpiece of Western Art. On the left, The Oath of the Horatii, the best known painting from Neoclassicism, depicting three brothers saluting their father before giving their lives for the good of Rome, in an heroic act. The Grande Odalisque, between the doors in the room where you are, painted by Ingres, who used to prioritize the curves, sometimes distorting reality, had this odalisque with three extra vertebrae.

In the Romantic Paintings, the Raft of the Medusa by Theodore Gericault, caused a big scandal because for the first time, an artist had painted an event from contemporary history without receiving a commission. In 1816 the boat Medusa sank for the incompetence of its captain, who got his post through political relations. The painting shows a raft with the survivors of the wreck. Back to the ground floor, in the Italian Sculpture gallery, you can see the Slave, an sculpture by Michelangelo that can have many different interpretations, but what matters, actually, is to admire this masterpiece.

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