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Posted on Fri, Dec 20, 2013 18:48

[Continued] It seems that the white marble is given the temperature of the human body, the muscular lines present the beauty of force, the slightly upward lips show confidence and persistence, a smart look gleams in the deep eyes. The flipped skirt is the mischief of the wind, lustrous eyes disclose the secret pleasure of love, a charming smile glows with happiness and shyness. I was captivated by these figures!
Great works such as David, Venus, or little angels with wings have been endowed with souls in the hands of the masters. The magic is the glamour of eternity.

I continued my visit to the picture galleries where the chef d’oeuvres of various times and various schools are displayed on the walls. The classic canvases have a look of magnificence in a luxuriant style(luxuriously colourful), particularly the ones on religious themes, each painting telling a Bible story. The paintings of the contemporary Impressionist School are mainly concerned with scenery and portraits of ordinary people, which reflects the prevailing humanist trends of the society at that time. As I was used to viewing traditional Chinese paintings, which were characterised by a concern with feeling rather than with accurate depiction, I was greatly inspired by the different styles of these western paintings. The art world was incredibly tremendous, I exclaimed.

La Joconde. The mysterious smile of Mona Lisa held my gaze for quite a while. It is said that from whichever direction viewers look at the painting they would meet Mona Lisa’s eyes without any exception. I had a try and it was the case. As a masterpiece, this painting is separately exhibited in a small hall where photo-taking is forbidden. It was in this small hall that I had an appointment with a scholar.

In the middle of December, some Chinese scholars were invited to an international conference at l'IEP (Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris). At the conference I fortuitously met a professor whom I knew. During the break, he asked if I would do him a favour to post a letter for his wife. I promised to help him. Early the next morning I went to the post office and deliberately chose the registered mail in case the letter got lost. Then I came to the conference and handed him the receipt and the change. To express his gratitude, he invited me to lunch. During the lunch, he said he would return to China the next day and before boarding he would like to visit the Louvre. “Would anyone like to accompany me to serve as a guide?” he asked (he doesn't speak French). Other people said they were occupied. I was going to have classes in the morning and after that I would be free. So the next morning we met at the entrance of the Louvre. After making an appointment to meet in the hall of La Joconde at 12 clock, I rushed to school. 

The reasons for choosing La Joconde hall were palpable. It was easy for the professor to find the way in the giant Louvre. Due to the fame of the painting anyone could show him the direction. Moreover, since it is forbidden to take photos, he could spend time appreciating the masterpiece in case I was late (for example, because of traffic jam), and it would not be a waste of time. Actually I was late, by nearly as much as an hour (HaHa, my God). Normally my class finished at half past eleven. That day we visited a Paris law court. When the staff finished the presentation it was nearly 12 clock, followed by the Q&A section. I was a bit anxious but I could do nothing but wait (I hadn’t brought my cell phone). Two girls began to raise questions endlessly. When the class was over it was already half past twelve. I headed for the Louvre hurriedly. Considering the professor would take the flight in the afternoon, it was better to cancel lunch to spare more time to visit the museum. So I stopped on the way to buy some fresh croissants, drinks and fruits in the bakery. When I finally arrived, it was one clock. No time to explain, I accompanied him to visit other halls. This experience strengthened my sense of punctuality. I now try to be on time; if unavoidable delay occurs, I will let others know it as soon as possible.

The Louvre records the story of civilisation and fixes the marks of time. It resembles a sage, calmly telling us what happened in the past, demonstrating history in a silent but powerful manner. Yet at the same time, it resembles a cheerful teenager in the bloom of youth, making progress day by day, becoming more vigorous and reaching mature. My every visit to the Louvre was productive of new discoveries.

The Rodin, Orsay and Picasso museums were also my favourite haunts at the weekends. Gazing at these great works of art, my eyes shifting between sculptures and paintings, I appreciated the nuances of fabulous shades, lines and strokes, dialogued with the masters in my imagination, and tried to understand and interpret the intention of the author. Nothing could be more pleasant in the world than such an experience.

It is worth mentioning that the French government attaches great importance to the preservation of the country’s rich heritage and culture. Each year a wide range of public places offer two days of free entry to the public, such as the Presidential Residence, the Parliament, the Louvre, La Tour Eiffel, the Pompidou Modern Art Centre etc. I once waited for nearly three hours outside the President’s Palace, the long queue of foreign tourists all in good order, as was at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.

Paris inspires the artists.
This is an ingenious, sensitive and charming nation.



Life is a piece of dance. You need to find the right partner to make it beautiful.

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