I've been in Montreal for only four months, but my life in Paris already feels like another lifetime.
I recently traveled to New York City (to visit the lovely Sara, another 'Expat American-Expat-in-Paris'), which obviously meant dedicating a significant amount of time in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Sara laughed as I barely stopped myself from full-on running excitedly from painting to painting.
But, as utterly elated as I was that afternoon, I couldn't help but feel a tinge of sadness to no longer live in a city with a museum as monumental as the Met. Don't get me wrong, I love the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. But I still miss living in a city with a museum so big you can legitimately get lost in a sea of canvases. And I especially miss the Louvre.
When I knew I would be leaving Paris for Montreal, I was very intentional about visiting some of my favorite places. And, let's be honest, many of those places were in the Louvre.
The Louvre feels like a sort of home. For most of my time in Paris, I lived a 20 minute walk away. This, combined with the fact that I had a card that let me skip the lines and enter for free, made this grand museum feel like an extension of my living space. I logged oh so many hours in its galleries.
And the rooms where I feel the most at home in the Louvre are the Ancient Greek terracotta and ceramic statuettes. I have no idea why I connect so strongly with these rooms, but I have been utterly enchanted by them since I accidentally stumbled upon them in 2009. The small statuettes are packed so tightly in the vitrines that you have to get up close to fully take them in. Visiting these galleries feels like uncovering treasures.
Before leaving Paris, I made sure to spend some time amidst these graceful (and at times hilarious) statuettes.
These galleries make up part of the Musée Charles X: eight rooms in the Louvre inaugurated by Charles X in 1827, dedicated to Egyptian and Greco-Roman antiquities. The richly decorated ceilings and packed vitrines offer a glimpse of a 19th century approach to museography.
I love the way the gold on the walls and the painted ceilings contrast with the browns and reds of most of the displayed objects. There is something so magical about these galleries.
Musée du Louvre (Sully wing, first floor, galleries 35-38)
Address: Palais du Louvre 75001 Paris ∣ Métro: Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre (line 1 or 7) ∣ Opening hours: Wednesday to Monday from 9am to 6pm, open until 9:45pm on Wednesday and Friday