Camera: Leica Monochrom
Focal Length: 35mm
H and I went to The Louvre and this was my favorite photo of the day. We entered the room with the Mona Lisa and rather than struggle to the front to see it, stayed in the middle and surveyed the room and the people in it. H’s sister sent her a text, and H responded that she was “admiring the Mona Lisa with 65,000 of our fellow humans”, or something to that effect. I stepped back to capture the moment, together before the gaze of the Mona Lisa.
Again, we were shocked at the size of the crowds that were at The Louvre and were talking about how smart phones had completely altered the behavior of people in museums over the years. As seen in the image above, people would rush into a mad crowd in front of the Mona Lisa, only to hoist their cell phones for a photograph and then make a mad dash to leave the room. My first visit to see the Mona Lisa back in 2008, I was literally alone in the room and could slowly take in the work and contemplate.
My fantasy of course, would be a night at the museum where we could walk through in the alone and quiet moments just to spend time appreciating the works, rather than navigating the crowds, keeping eyes out for pickpockets (they are there), and avoiding the jostle of everyone trying to take in the museum.
That said, there are moments, if you time it right, to see some of the more famous objects without the crush of humanity around them. Go early in the morning, or late in the evening and you might get a chance to see my favorite 4 historical objects in the Louvre, in solitude…
The Venus de Milo.
This visage of Akhenaten Amenophis IV.
The Code of Hammurabi.