Come See The Mona Lisa

Louvre - room with Mona Lisa and a lot of people

This is the day after the ‘cake smearing’ incident that you probably heard about in the news. A man dressed as a woman, jumped up from his wheelchair and either did or did not try to smash the glass over the painting of the Mona Lisa.

Whichever it was, he smeared cream cake on the glass and shouted to the crowd that the planet was in danger, and that that was why he had done what he did.

We bought the tickets online to visit the Louvre. We bought them the previous day, and that was before we heard the ‘cake’ news, but then we heard about the incident before we visited. The news may be the reason there are so many people in this particular room.

That said, as you can see, people are looking at other paintings in the room, and notably the huge painting – The Wedding Feast at Cana by Veronese -that practically fills the opposite wall

What you cannot see is that people at the further end of the room have to file between marked off barriers in order to get close to the Mona Lisa. We didn’t queue to do that because it seems quite bizarre to shuffle through to see a painting – even the `Mona Lisa.

Ascension Day

On Thursday the week before, it was Ascension Day, and a lot of people were on an extended four-day holiday on the following days.

So the city was full of Parisians on holiday, at least those who hadn’t skedaddled and left Paris for somewhere in the countryside. On the afternoon before Ascension Day, the station at Gare St Lazare was full of people with suitcases, leaving by train.

The day after Ascension Day we went on a Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus tour of Paris and passed the area with the glass Pyramid at the Louvre, and it was absolutely crammed with people. So we were glad not to be visiting the museum that day.

Imagine this area around the Pyramid full of thousands of people.

Instead, on Monday, it was busy but not crazy busy,

The Pyramid at The Louvre

Now I am going to backtrack a little and talk about the difference between what the objective eye of the camera sees, and what the eye sees. If you had been standing in the ‘corridor’ here, you would surely have said it was packed with people. The eye sees the whole room, and sees the density of people.

But with the viewpoint of a camera with a 40mm-equivalent lens, the room does not seem that crowded. I have to crop the photo to show you what it looks like further down the length of the corridor. And even then your feet and not tired, and you cannot hear the noise of talking and chattering echoing off the walls.

corridor in the Louvre

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