The Louvre!
The Louvre!

The Louvre is one of the world’s greatest art museums. It was established in 1793 and with more than 8 million visitors every year, it is the world’s most visited museum! For me though, visiting the Louvre was an answer to prayer, a dream come true and mainly because I wanted to visit a particular lady who lives there! The Mona Lisa! She has been subject of fantasy, of controversy, of interest, of theft and of scrutiny for centuries and for some reason, once I found myself at the Louvre, I couldn’t wait it to see her! I kept feeling, if she’s the only one I see today, it will be entirely entirely worth it! And with that, my pilgrimage commenced!

The Louvre pyramid from the inside!
The Louvre pyramid from the inside! That sculpture is wrapped- awaiting its big reveal…
I wasn't the only one visiting that day! See the human traffic, for the first time, I felt proud to be part of a statistic- 1 in the 8 million plus who visited the Louvre in 2013! Lol!
I wasn’t the only one visiting that day! See the human traffic, for the first time, I felt proud to be part of a statistic- 1 in the 8 million plus who visited the Louvre in 2013! Lol!
No detail was spared! Even the ceilings were works of art!
No detail was spared! Even the ceilings were works of art!
Another ceiling somewhere in the Louvre!
Another ceiling somewhere in the Louvre!
Immediately I got in, I asked at the information desk "where is the Mona Lisa?" Knowing the French, I knew they'd be thinking "this classless tourist, must you show your desire so blatantly? Can't you look around first?" LOL! I wasn't deterred by my own interpretation of their perception though, I asked! And luckily, they were used to this- see the crowd? We were all headed there!
Immediately I got in, I asked at the information desk “where is the Mona Lisa?” Knowing the French, I knew they’d be thinking “this classless tourist, must you show your desire so blatantly? Can’t you look around first?” LOL! I wasn’t deterred by my own interpretation of their perception though, I asked! And luckily, they were used to this- see the crowd? We were all headed there!
I took the time to stop and stare though! I took a deep breath when I saw this lovely courtyard! And took a photo for you...
I took the time to stop and stare though! I took a deep breath when I saw this lovely courtyard! And took a photo for you…
I was struck  at how vivid and colorful this painting was. Very beautiful but the vivid colors and absolute clarity did not seem "really" right to me for works of that era! I later learnt why...
I was struck at how vivid and colorful this painting was. Very beautiful but the vivid colors and absolute clarity did not seem “really” right to me for works of that era! I later learnt why…
These as well! So clear, so colorful, so vivid!  I was struck...
These as well! So clear, so colorful, so vivid! I was struck…
It was when I got to this, that curiosity made me stop and read (LOL, I wasn't reading earlier because I wanted to get to the Mona Lisa quickly- honestly, I was walking, dancing and trying not to jog, the anticipation was too much! But I also hadn't stopped to read because most of the inscriptions were in French). Anyhow, this said the works on display in that area, were of students in Leonardo Da Vinci's school of art- so people who taught! Which explained a lot to me, the masters usually have a little "impreciseness" to their work, not following all the rules or making the art too too clean, you know that sort of creative license that comes from being "lord" over your work... That is why the clarity of the earlier images and more especially, the brightness got me thinking! But now I understood it better...
It was when I got to this, that curiosity made me stop and read (LOL, I wasn’t reading earlier because I wanted to get to the Mona Lisa quickly- honestly, I was walking, dancing and trying not to jog, the anticipation was too much! But I also hadn’t stopped to read because most of the inscriptions were in French). Anyhow, this said the works on display in that area, were of students in Leonardo Da Vinci’s school of art- so people whom he taught! Which explained a lot to me, the masters usually have a little “impreciseness” to their work, not following all the rules or making the art too too clean, you know that sort of creative license that comes from being “lord” over your work… That is why the clarity of the earlier images and more especially, the brightness got me thinking! But now I understood it better…
I loved this as well!
I loved this as well!
And finally, I entered the chamber where the most sought after lady was in! Look who I saw! A great multitude!
And finally, I entered the chamber where the most sought after lady was in! Look who I saw! A great multitude!
There were other great works by Leonardo Da Vinci in the room and to ensure my anticipation reached a healthy peak, I struggled to look at them first!
There were other great works by Leonardo Da Vinci in the room and to ensure my anticipation reached a healthy peak, I struggled to look at them first! Looking at this painting, do you see what I mean about the colours and sharpness of the images as per the paintings above?
Finally! Finally, I saw her! I saw her! I stopped and my heart sang! People are different but honestly, my year was made in that moment! My heart was filled with gratitude... I know art is not everybody's thing! I have been weird since (lol, I don't mind), as a child, I'll cut all art from calendars and magazines and ask my dad to frame them for me. My dad who was quite indulgent and wanted to nurture all his kids to be the individuals they were, encouraged me by framing them and even cutting out or buying copies of the works of great masters for me! I can tell the works of Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso and Leonardo by the their strokes i.e, works that I don't know- that's how interested I am! So honestly, the only thing I did not do was cry! But my heart sang! It sang and is still singing!
Finally! Finally, I saw her! I saw her! I stopped and my heart sang! People are different but honestly, my year was made in that moment! My heart was filled with gratitude… I know art is not everybody’s thing! I have been weird since (lol, I don’t mind), as a child, I’ll cut all art from calendars and magazines and ask my dad to frame them for me. My dad who was quite indulgent and wanted to nurture all his kids to be the individuals they were, encouraged me by framing them and even cutting out or buying copies of the works of great masters for me! I can tell the works of Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso and Leonardo by the their strokes i.e, works that I don’t know- that’s how interested I am! So honestly, the only thing I did not do was cry! But my heart sang! It sang and is still singing!
And I smiled with the Mona Lisa! Mine was not a wistful enigmatic smile like hers! She is the Mona Lisa after all! Mine was a really happy, this is happening to me, smile! I thank God!
And I smiled with the Mona Lisa! Mine was not a wistful enigmatic smile like hers! She is the Mona Lisa after all! Mine was a really happy, this is happening to me, smile! I thank God!
Happy, satisfied, exhausted me! After seeing the Mona Lisa, I enjoyed all the art on the way out, but I had to sit outside the Louvre! The walk had been long, the excitement had been so so much! It was like the period of rest that needs to follow a good climax and rest I did! Basking in the euphoria of the moment!
Happy, satisfied, exhausted me! After seeing the Mona Lisa, I enjoyed all the art on the way out, but I had to sit outside the Louvre! The walk had been long, the excitement had been so so much! It was like the period of rest that needs to follow a good climax and rest I did! Basking in the euphoria of the moment!

Ok, because I’m overwhelmed, I want to share some other observations on this post. (1) I was struck by the fact that the Mona Lisa was not the largest painting in that room but she was the most valuable! So valuable, she was put behind a bullet and bomb proof glass case. The lights in that case were specially created for her to keep the colour temperature intact and to let her shine in the best possible light! Allow me use that to say to you, that its not about your size and your perceived shortcomings, your value is from what’s inside you! You, just become the best you, re-present yourself the best way, be the designer original, the masterpiece that you were created to be! (2) This is for my Naija readers, I have a travel section on my blog and so it can seem like I travel a bit and maybe I do, but there was a time I couldn’t get a visa anywhere. Lol, I wasn’t even really trying initially because I did not have the means to go… But what I have learnt is that quality is on the inside, please dream your dreams- but I had a pastor then who said “if you are a lizard in Nigeria, going overseas will not stop you from being a lizard there” and it really struck me, maybe because of the lizard imagery but more importantly, I got his message. He was saying flourish where you are planted, be the best you where you are… As you develop you, the doors open for you, from work, maybe from increased earnings, followed by the discipline of putting something aside to use to pursue your dreams, or even from the dream itself! I truly believe God blesses the audacity to dream with answers! That you did not settle, that you believe that He can do ALL things and that you simplistically believe that if He said, “ask and it shall be given unto you”, then it must be true! I believe that rewards flow from expectations of His faithfulness!

That said, I want to say thank you again for reading my blog! I am not ashamed to say that a writers ability and desire to write is fueled by the readers that read. None of those artists would have been happy to create their work if they felt it’ll never been seen. So you keep me going and I appreciate you greatly! Thanks for reading, leave me a comment and please if you find useful nuggets in what I write, use them. We can change our lots, we are not victims of circumstances but masters of our fate, we have been blessed with the Elohim- the creative nature of God, with dominion! And that includes exercising dominion over what your destiny is! Ciao! Don’t forget to be awesome this week.

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