Hacking The Louvre

Hacking The Louvre

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It's been estimated that if you spent 30 seconds with each piece in the museum it would take six weeks to see them all. It's just massive. Thus, it helps to have a plan. And that's what inspired my idea of Hacking The Louvre. Which is to say, I did a ton of research in an attempt to boil the whole place down to what could be considered its 40 most important works of art. After finalizing that list (plus one) and consulting this digital map, I then created a walking plan that included directions and turns all sorts of other obsessive instructions on how to see these major works in the most logical way possible. I gameified it. My plan being to start with the Mona Lisa, see the weird lady, get her out of the way, and then follow a set path. Aaaaaand I kinda crushed it. Mind you, a few items were either on loan or in a temporarily closed section of the museum. But everything else was pretty much perfect. Basically, the spirit of this plan is that you go from one "highlight" to another while casually observing all the other stuff along the way, stopping, of course, when something catches your eye. Fortunately, many of these big-name pieces are on the first level of the Denon wing. Which means even if you only had an hour you could knock out some key works of art from just this one section, alone. Or you could just, you know, go with no plan at all and be normal. Because I get it. This looks insane. But it's fun for me. And the process is sort of my way of learning about something before I actually see it. So, anyway, here it is. Best of luck. And wear comfortable shoes.

Where To Start
Entrance Map
From all the research I did it seems the carrousel entrance is the way to go. It's an underground mall that leads you to the inverted pyramid. Not the big pyramid up top above ground with the masses. Initially, I thought you could just stroll right up and buy a ticket. But that intel was bad. We definitely needed to pre-purchase for a designated time. But once we did, it was easy. This carrousel entrance is where we checked in, went through security, and entered the museum to the famed Daru staircase leading up to Winged Victory, the first item on the list. 

Winged Victory of Samothrace
L1, Denon 703
After you see Winged Victory at the top of the Daru staircase, turn right and go through two rooms 706, 707, and 708 and right again into 710. Walk through 710 and then make a right into 711. Prepare yourself. This will take you to the Mona Lisa room. It'll be obvious. But before you see the Mona Lisa, just after you walk into the room, turn around and see The Wedding Feast of Cena, the massive painting behind you.

Wedding Feast of Cena
L1, Denon 711
This is so much more impressive than the Mona Lisa, but most of the crowd will be rushing forward to see the lady. Which is what you will do next. It's time to face the chaos. Just get in line. Push forward. See her. Take a photo. Be sure to look behind you and appreciate the absolute mass of humanity, and take solace knowing that this will be the worst part of your visit.

Mona Lisa
L1, Denon 711
You survived. Pretty small, isn't? Now walk literally behind the Mona Lisa to the opposite side of her wall. This is where you will find The Pastoral Concert.

The Pastoral Concert
L1, Denon 711
Now leave this room and never come back. But don't leave the way you came in. In fact, they won't even allow it. This room is one way traffic, y'all. Just keep going into room 701 and make a right into 702 to catch the next five pieces. I forget the exact order that you'll see them, but they're all there.

Leonidas at Thermopylae
L1, Denon 702
You'll see this one.

The Coronation of Napoleon 
L1, Denon 702
And this one.

The Grande Odalisque
L1, Denon 702
And this one.

The Intervention of the Sabine Women
L1, Denon 702
And this one.

Oath of the Horatii
L1, Denon  702
And this one, too. After you collect all five, you'll go back the way you came in and through room 701 into another long hall. This will be room 700, and here we'll find two more important pieces.

The Raft of the Medusa
L1, Denon  700
The Raft of the Medusa is basically a maritime safety pamphlet of what not to do.

Liberty Leading the People
L1, Denon 700
This is the other piece in 700. After this room you'll continue through to a stairwell where you'll go left into and through rooms 715 and 714 and into 713 for my personal favorite painting in the entire museum.

The Pandemonium
L1, Denon 713
Say hi to Satan. I honestly don't know why I like this one so much. I'll discuss with my therapist. Anyway, after you've had enough Beelzebub, continue on in the direction you were going and make a left into room 712 for the next two works of art.

Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione
L1, Denon 712
This one sort of looks like me after the first couple months of Covid quarantine.

The Death of the Virgin 
L1, Denon 712
After Baldassare and Death of the Virgin, you'll continue on to room 710. It'll look familiar. You've already been here at the beginning, but we breezed through on our way to see the Mona Lisa. Now you can take your time and appreciate three (possibly four) pieces.

The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne 
L1, Denon 710
You'll see this,

The Virgin of the Rocks
L1, Denon 710
And this.

Triumph of the Virtues
L1, Denon 710
And this,

The Battle Between Love And Chastity *
L1, Denon 710
And maaaaaaybe this. On the day we were at the museum I did not. But The Louvre's website says it's there. Either way, you're now going to head back into room 708. Again, you were here at the beginning, but powered through because of her. That damn Mona Lisa. This is where we see Flying Jesus and his space lasers.

Saint Francis Of Assisi Receiving Stigmata 
L1, Denon 708
From this rom turn left and go through 707 and 706 and back to the top of the Daru staircase. You'll see Winged Victory again. This time, go around the front of the statue and turn right into room 704. Then turn right again into 705. This is the Apollo Gallery. In general, you'll want to admire the ceiling. It's spectacular. There's a bunch of cool stuff in there, but you'll be looking for one particular piece of bling.

The Regent Diamond
L1, Denon 705
This is the main thing to see in this gallery. You're going to want to steal it. But don't. Whenever you can pull yourself away from this ridiculous diamond, just walk the entire length of the hall because it's really pretty. Then backtrack out of the gallery, again into room 704. Then turn right into the Sully Wing. Congrats. You just saw most of the hits. Here, you should now be in room 661. Go through this and then make your first left through the corner of room 660 into into 662. Continue through that to room 663, past a staircase, and into the low 600's of Sully. You'll probably see a lot of pottery along the way. Try not to break anything. Just pass through room 601 into room 602.

Louis XIV 
L1, Sully 602
Now, here's where you may have to go a little rogue. There's some directions I can't confirm. On the day I was there much of the Sully wing was closed. Again, here's a link to exhibits currently closed by the museum. Unfortunately, due to renovations, I wasn't able to the Seated Scribe in room 635 (which would require continuing on and sort of clockwise through Sully).

Seated Scribe *
L1, Sully 635
Like I said, I can't confirm the accuracy of these next four items. They were behind locked doors. But after Seated Scribe theoretically you'd want to take the stairs up to the Sully wing's second level to see what I didn't.

The Card Sharp with the Ace of Diamonds *
L2, Sully 912
You might see this.

The Ray *
L2, Sully 919
And this.

The Valpincon Bather *
L2, Sully 940
And this.

The Turkish Bath *
L2, Sully 940
And this. But let's assume when you go you experience the same as me where this wing is largely closed. You can pick up my trail by repositioning to the second level of the Richelieu wing. Make your way to room 825 for The Abduction of the Sabines and we'll go from there.

The Abduction of the Sabines 
L2, Richelieu 825
Depending on how you get here, you'll either continue through or backtrack from room 825 into room 824. Go through this into room 814 for another painting that may or may not actually be there.

The Moneylender and His Wife * 
L2, Richelieu 814
I didn't see this when I was at The Louvre, but it might be available now. Either way, you'll go to this room and then turn right into room 815. It's a smaller room. You'll just sort of pop in for a moment for the next piece where you'll go to see the captain ...

Ship of Fools
L2, Richelieu 815
... of the Ship of Fools. This is what you 're looking for. Then jump back out into room 814 and continue in the direction you were going toward room 809.

Portrait of the Artist Holding a Thistle
L2, Richelieu 809
After you see this, you're going to just do a bunch of walking in the same direction, almost to the very end of the wing. Enjoy your stroll and when you are near the end make a left from room 848 into room 847. Go through that as well as rooms 846 and 845. We'll be stopping in room 844.

Bathsheba at Her Bath
L2, Richelieu 844
From here, my plan was to continue in this direction going through the rooms counterclockwise toward 837 for two pieces: The Astronomer and The Lacemaker. However, once I got to that room I never found the former, and was told the latter had been moved. There was a bit of a language barrier, so I'm not sure if he meant to another part of The Louvre or just on loan to some other museum. But neither were there. Maybe both  are now back. I dunno.

The Astronomer *
L2,  Richelieu 837
Couldn't find this one.

The Lacemaker *
L2,  Richelieu 837
Or this. But hopefully you will. And, if not, just say hello to space where this piece was supposed to be and then continue on in the same direction toward the stairs where you'll go down two levels to zero. Once you are down, continue through room 236 and 234 to a corridor where you'll turn left into 228. Go all the way through this and into room 227.

Code of Hammurabi
L0,  Richelieu 227
After you see the Code of Hammurabi, continue moving clockwise through room 230 and into room 231 where you'll then turn left into the Sully wing. This part was open, and you'll basically cross over the museum to the other side of Sully on your way to room 348. It's time to see some sculptures!

Sleeping Hermaphroditus
L0, Sully 348
You'll see this.

Diana of Versailles
L0, Sully 348
And this. And then you'll continue straight through room 346 and into room 345 for a biggie.

Venus de Milo 
L0, Sully 345
After seeing the Venus de Milo, you'll step back into room 346 and switch over to the Denon wing. We're almost done! Just keep walking past a whole bunch of art and stairs and rooms (including a long one, room 406) and finally into room 403. This is the big finale. Your last two (or possibly three) major works. 

Dying Slave 
L0, Denon 403
You'll see this.

Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss
L0, Denon 403
And this.

Bust of Maria Duglioli Barberini *
L0, Denon 403
And maybe even this, The Louvre's site says it's here, but I never found it. So, let me know if you collect this one. I was kinda bummed. It's super intricate and I was looking forward to seeing it up close. Hopefully you will. But either way - boom! You did it! Now get the hell out of there and experience the outside world.

Great Sphinx of Tanis *
L-1, Sully 338
My list is not a perfect top 40. This is piece 41. I didn't see it. My legs were rejecting my body and it was clearly time to go. I just didn't have another set of stairs in me to go down another level and over to the Sully wing again for something that may or may not have even been open. But, if you got it in you, the Great Sphinx of Tanis can be your last ancient art Pokémon. But seriously. It's time to leave.  

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