Treasures of the Louvre – France, Part 2 2


Getting lost in the vast maze of rooms at the Musee de Louvre.  Even with a map in hand, this is easy to do.

There is so much to take in. Paintings and frescoes by Botticelli, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Raphael and more. Room after room filled with ancient art and artifacts from Sumer, Ur, Egypt, Greece and Rome.  I was on the trail of some favorite relics and artifacts.  The Louvre holds some of the most important Goddess figurines and statues, and I was eager to photograph them in greater detail than the last time I visited.

It took a while to find the exquisite frescoes by Botticelli, tucked into an alcove just to the right of the Winged Victory.

fresco-louvre-deb-2016

Venus and the Three Graces, Botticelli

 

The incredible Winged Victory – Goddess Nike – is a magnificent sight at the top of the main staircase.

nike-statue-louvre-2016

Winged Victory of Samothrace, also called the Nike of Samothrace, Louvre, Paris 2016

At the end of a long gallery of sculpture I found Venus di Milo (surrounded by Japanese tourists taking selfies) .  The marble wall is a perfect backdrop for this graceful statue.

venus-di-milo-2016

Venus di Milo, Louvre, Paris 2016

Going back in time to Sumer, Ur and Babylon, there are some remarkable figures that portray the Divine Feminine in poses of power, sovereignty and nourishment.

ivory-plaque-goddess-and-rams-louvre-paris-deb-2016

A lid of a pyxis which would have originally held face powder. It is decorated with an image of the Mistress of the Animals – a Goddess dancing as she feeds wild goats.

 

louvre-goddess-figures-deb-2016

Goddess figurines standing with hands at the breast. This is a classic pose of nourishment and motherhood. Also note the wide hips and etched pubic triangle – symbols of birth and her life-giving power.

 

bell-goddess-louvre-deb-2016

Figurine known as a “bell idol” – a rare example of figurative sculpture representing a Nature Goddess – some have identified with Artemis though the water bird symbolism speaks more to Aphrodite.

This rare Goddess sculpture is decorated with water and nature images – all life-nourishing symbols.  Other pottery carries similar symbols – water birds, nets, triangles, swastika-forms – all symbols of life and birth associated with Artemis and Aphrodite.

greek-pottery-water-birds-symbols-louvre-deb-2016

Greek pottery with symbols of nature and the elements

In some cases, I was intensely frustrated by the prospect of taking photos through glass.  Or, with dim lighting and massive reflections.   Queen Ty was particularly elusive.  Good thing my husband was both helpful and patient!

queen-ty-louvre-2016

Queen Ty – a small faience statue of a beloved Egyptian Queen.

I have a fascination for both Hathor and this Egyptian musical instrument called the sistrum.  These are often seen with Hathor’s image. Used by women in religious ceremony, there would have been small metal discs strung in the center that would rattle.

egypt-hathor-sistrum-louvre-deb-2016

The sistrum once held two metal rods fitted with bronze discs that created rattling sounds. Female temple musicians used this instrument in religious rites.

 

An exterior view of the Louvre, taken from the beautiful Tuileries Garden.  Yes, that is a goat doing the lawn mowing.

louvre-exterior-from-park-2016

 

 

 


2 thoughts on “Treasures of the Louvre – France, Part 2

  • Mary Pat Hyland

    Smiled when I saw the Winged Victory. I passed a life-size version of this Nike sculpture every day I climbed the stairs to my art classes at Syracuse University. So did my mother, before me.

Comments are closed.