No Louvre Lost

A rant.

I have never wanted to be Beyoncé for a day so badly in my life.


The Louvre is a giant trash can for some of the most beautiful art ever created.

I just want to know if the decision makers hate tourists and wanted to see how awful an experience they can create and people will still hand over fist fulls of money.

It’s completely understaffed and under toiletted. One person per section to hand out audio tours? Don’t even get me started on that poorly executed audio tour system. One person in the gift shop next to Venus de Milo? My eye is twitching just remembering.

Ok, now that my petty grievances are out of the way, let me prove to you why you should be just as angry at the most famous art museum in the world, too.

It started out great. Well, after the “avoid the line” line, the bathroom line, and the pre-purchased audio tour line.

Amazing sculptures I could (and should) have looked at all day:

Then, we got to the Mona Lisa. I was not shocked by the size, as most people seem to be. It was actually bigger than I expected. However, I was shocked by the black-Friday-outside-of-Walmart-before-the-doors-open mosh pit of every terrible person you’ve ever met in front of the Mona Lisa. I knew it would be crowded, but I couldn’t even get out once I finished looking. Even after waiting for a rather tall guy to make a path, it was a struggle to fight the current.


Is that really the best way to present the most famous and arguably the most important painting ever created?

Kill. Me.
So unnecessary.
Contemplating all the decisions of my life that led to this moment: A self-portrait.

Here’s my solution:

It’s a painting. On a wall. If it’s no problem to make me wait in line 20 minutes for the bathroom, I can wait in line to see the most famous painting in the world. They could kill two birds with one stone and put the bathroom at the far end of the Mona Lisa.

Line people up through a corridor. Have a guard on either side of it. I’ll even add a layer of American and say armed guards, if you must, so people can get a closer look. There’s no reason we can’t get within a foot or two of a painting behind bullet proof glass with guards right next to it.

Make a time limit. Studies have shown people spend less than 30 seconds looking at a work of art. For the Mona Lisa it’s averaged at 15 seconds. People could leave sooner if they wanted. Give people 1 minute max to look, get their selfie, and get out. Sure, it may take awhile to get through, but it won’t be 10 minutes of stranger danger/bad touch for a lack luster viewing with people’s cell phones all around.

It would be the same concept, a line of people in front of the painting. There just wouldn’t be a crowd behind the line, making it an awful experience.

If it’s a straight line, technically, you’ll get at least 3 minutes in front of the painting if you want it. One to the left, one in the center, one to the right. I’m even for letting people who want to look longer form a second line behind the first line. Maybe even a snaked line that just moves one spot down every 30 seconds and there’s room for people to leave the line when they are ready. Is that really too much to ask?

That may seem impossible when about 2,000 people per hour come to the Louvre, but I think it’s doable. If not, make people buy tickets in advance or for time slots like many other museums and special exhibitions.

Anything is better than the disgrace it is now.

Can we pause at the 2,000 people per hour for one second and reflect on the one person per audio tour/section and 1 person working the gift shop by Venus de Milo and the 5 stalls in the bathroom (give or take)? Let’s say they have 5 separate bathrooms for women at the entrance with 5 stalls each. That’s 25 stalls for 1,000 women/hr. I did the math. That’s 40 women per toilet per hour. The lesson in all of this? You will use algebra as an adult if you’re angry enough. Even if you’re an artist.

As for the other paintings, it’s pretty much worthless in my opinion. The lighting is terrible. It was a giant, diffused sky light, but the glare was still atrocious. I couldn’t even see the upper half of Caravaggio’s Death of Mary. Most of the paintings I looked at were truly painful to view for me because of the lighting. The crowds were also awful in most of the areas and by the time I was finished with the Mona Lisa, I was pretty much finished with being at the museum at all.

It’s painful.

That level of glare is unforgivable.

So painful.

I’m personally offended.

Opposed to the piece above at the Musée d’Orsay. There were some pieces with glare, but most did not have any and the ones that did, I could usually move positions to avoid it.

Doesn’t that feel refreshing?

Eventually, I just started photographing all the weird details in paintings to distract myself from the hell surrounding me.

What up, baby Jesus? You good?
What was the artistic decision behind exposing his baby penis? Is anyone else thinking about how baby boys pee when they are getting their diapers changed? Do you think this was right before he peed on Mary?
I’m interested in the body language decisions here. Why is he holding his foot? Why is he stopping her hand with his? How old is he supposed to be? Why is her right hand so tiny?

I was especially attracted to the large number of breast feeding women portrayed. Can you imagine a museum having so many pieces dedicated to breast feeding in America? Women are barely allowed to breast feed in public, let alone have paintings of such a vile act thrust upon the sensitive masses. I think some people would become apoplectic at the idea of Mother Mary breast feeding baby Jesus. So here it is. That’s a lot of exposed holy nipple.

I don’t know about you, but I feel better having gotten that off my chest.

About Elisha

Elisha Dasenbrock is an award winning, international watercolor artist. She paints with a limited palette on claybord. Dasenbrock graduated from the American Academy of Art in 2009 and has been painting professionally ever since.