This session’s classes are a little different from one’s I’ve done in the past. Instead of just focusing on one artist each week, we’ll actually be “visiting” one famous museum each week! Each child is given a passport to enter the country – and we’ll stamp their passports each week to prove they’ve been there and to ensure they can enter the next country we’ll visit. Today we took a quick trip to the Louvre – we learned all about the history of the world’s most famous museum, discovered all about Paris, listened to French music (ooh la la!) and learned a few key words of French. (We now know how to say “That painting is beautiful” – which’ll come in handy when they actually visit the Louvre someday…) We paid specific attention to the Louvre’s most famous inhabitant (the Mona Lisa) and each child created their own portrait in that style.
A few fun facts about the Louvre…
- The Louvre is one of the world’s largest museums and the most visited art museum in the world!
- The Louvre is a major landmark in Paris and is located on the Right Bank of the Seine.
- Within the Louvre, nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 19th century make their home.
- The Louvre’s exhibition area spans more than 652,300 square feet.
- The correct pronunciation of the Louvre is “loov-ruh”
- The first Louvre was a fortress built at the beginning of the 13th century to defend the Seine below Paris against the Normans and English. From then on it was used as a royal palace for a variety of French Kings and Queens. In Napolean’s time, the Louvre was used for offices and a museum.
- In 1984, a Chinese-American architect named Ieoh Ming Pei designed and created a huge glass pyramid to serve as the main entrance to the Louvre. No one really liked it to begin with, but today it is seen as one of the most famous and well-liked landmarks in all of Paris.
- The Louvre attracts millions of visitors every year from all over the world. Its most famous pieces include the Mona Lisa, the statue of Winged Victory and Venus de Milo.
And here are a few fun things you can do at home!
- We read a great book in class today called Louvre Up Close which gives a wonderful opportunity to take a closer look at some of the most famous works within the Louvre. Look for it in your local library or bookstore!
- Rick Steves gives a great 5 minute tour of the Louvre in his video on YouTube… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mu6qEaAyaEU