Last month in Paris, hubby and I went to the Musee du Louvre. The glass pyramids are amazing. It was a hot summer's day and there were people languishing all around the fountains, dipping their toes in the bright green water!!
We'd got the wrong information re. opening hours, though, and missed seeing La Joconde (Mona Lisa) by two minutes... gutted!!
The history of the Mona Lisa is shrouded in mystery. Among the aspects which remain unclear are the exact identity of the sitter, who commissioned the portrait, how long Leonardo worked on the painting, how long he kept it, and how it came to be in the French royal collection. The portrait may have been painted to mark one of two events - either when Francesco del Giocondo and his wife bought their own house in 1503, or when their second son, Andrea, was born in December 1502 after the death of a daughter in 1499. The delicate dark veil that covers Mona Lisa's hair is sometimes considered a mourning veil. In fact, such veils were commonly worn as a mark of virtue. Her clothing is unremarkable. Neither the yellow sleeves of her gown, nor her pleated gown, nor the scarf delicately draped round her shoulders are signs of aristocratic status.
So we decided instead to buy a fabulous book there, called PARIS 360.
It's a collection of photos, taken on a wide angle lens, and shows places and people around Paris. It's been reclining on our coffee table since our return.. and is already becoming much-loved. D16 (who had just spent half an hour on the phone to Granny, practising for his upcoming French assessment), hubby and I stayed up late last night, poring over the photos and our memories.. reliving our authentic croque monsieur experiences and generally reminiscing..