The Louvre is our playground

Dear Son,

What a wonderful day we had today. Today I took you to the Louvre for the very first time. I had signed you up for a morning atelier, Poils et Plumes, for 4-6 year olds, that they run during the school holidays. We arrived at 10am to one heck of a line to get into the museum. Luckily I had the ticket for your atelier and so we got to jump ahead.

You happily put on your little green Louvre vest that they give participants so that they don’t get lost and went off to your atelier. The first part of the atelier was taking the children into the museum to study various Dutch and Flemish still life paintings, and the animals in them. You also got to visit other parts of the museum such as the medieval foundations and the Hercules sculpture in the Cour Puget. Then the children went back to the atelier room to do some coloring of the paintings you had studied.

You really enjoyed it. I wandered the museum a bit while you were in the atelier and did a bit of sketching. I picked you up at noon and we took the lunch I had packed for us to the cafeteria. I wanted to avoid spending a ton of money on mediocre food. I got myself a cup of tea and you told me about the atelier and showed me the little carnet of what you had done.

After lunch we went back into the museum. You wanted to show me the old castle foundations. They are a favorite part of the museum so I obliged. Then, I wanted to show you a few of the most famous treasures: the Venus de Milo, the Victory of Samothrace, and of course, La Joconde herself. You were less enthusiastic because you wanted to draw, but you obliged me. Thank you for that Son.

I decided to let you be my guide, rather than the other way around. AT first I was trying to direct you to see all these things, but the wonderful thing about the Louvre is that you can wander aimlessly, turn a corner, and be standing in front of Delacroix’s Liberty Leading The People. So I was happy to follow you.

Then we spent an hour or so just sketching in the Cour Puget and the Cour Marly. How lovely it was to see you studying these sculptures so intently Son, and then sketching what you saw. You drew four sculptures. It really made my heart sing to see you enjoying this activity.

Dare I hope that this will be something you will continue to enjoy?

Then, you wanted to show me the Dutch and Flemish paintings you had studied earlier that day. I let you lead the way to try to remember where they were, and the next thing I knew, you were pointing out turtles, peacocks, and fox studies in paintings that I had never seen before.

Then we noticed that the Cafe Richelieu served Angelina hot chocolate and there was no line, so we decided to indulge.

By then it was already five thirty. We’d spent the whole day there.

I bow in gratitude for this day, for having been able to show you this wonderful, special place, as I described it to you this morning. I hope you will always find joy and astonishment in art.

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