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  • Russ Ramsey

Where to Start at The Louvre

For this Art Wednesday we’ll get to know some of the highlight of the Louvre’s permanent collection. Let’s go ahead and get this one out of the way. Do you like crowds and bulletproof glass? Then boy do they have a painting for you. I give you the Mona Lisa!

DaVinci, Mona Lisa, c. 1516


It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that the Venus de Milo is real and you can actually go see it. It was carved before the time of Christ and is such a well-known figure.

Alexandros of Antioch, Venus de Milo, 150-125 BC


What I love about this Vermeer is the model might be Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, the father of microbiology and lens maker in Delft, who may have helped Vermeer build the optical device he used to achieve this painting.

Vermeer, The Astronomer, 1668

This delicate marble sculpture “represents the god Cupid in the height of love and tenderness, immediately after awakening the lifeless Psyche with a kiss.” The light plays well on this one.

Antonio Canova, Psyche Revived By Cupid’s Kiss, 1787-93


Rembrandt’s chiaroscuro is enhanced with the shadow of the winding staircase and solitary figure alone in contemplation. This is about as Rembrandt as Rembrandt gets.

Rembrandt, The Philosopher in Meditation, 1632


A marble sculpture from before the time of Christ—a Greek Hellenist statue of the goddess Nike on the bow of a ship. Microscopic traces of blue pigment suggest this statue was originally colorfully painted.

Unknown, Winged Victory of Samothrace, 190 BC


Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People (1830) might be one of the most well-known paintings from the Romantic era. It commemorates the French Revolution of 1830. He said, “If I haven't fought for my country at least I’ll paint for her.”

Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People, 1830

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