During the summer, I was very excited to learn that from October 2006 through 2009, Louvre Atlanta is bringing hundreds of works of art from the Louvre’s collections to Atlanta through a series of nine exhibitions – many of which have never been seen before in the United States. I was thrilled when I received an invitation for a free Evening for Educators at the High on Friday night. I was allowed to bring a guest, so my 15-year-old son accompanied me, as well as a new friend from our fine arts program and her daughter.

A large crowd moved slowly through the three floors of the exhibit. I prefer to tour the High wearing a headset for the optional audio program. For me, the headphones block out other noise and make the exhibit much more intense and personal. It is difficult to put the experience of this exhibit into words; parts were almost indescribable.

The beginning of the tour was a room with three rows of marble busts. I was blown away to stand before a bust of a Roman emperor carved in the 2nd century A.D. Just think about that a minute. The detail of draped cloth, lace, hair, and eyes were amazing.

Here are a few other highlights:

Charles Le Brun
Monster Pierced with Arrows – Drawing
My son especially liked this drawing.

Diego Velasquez

The Infanta Margarita

Samuel Morse


Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione

The audio tour told how when the Mona Lisa was stolen in 1913 and missing for two years, this painting was the one chosen to hand in its place. The crowd around it was awed; there was a large semi-circle of viewers, but no one stood within 10 feet of the painting. Those blue eyes were quite mesmerizing!


Alessandro Algardi
Jupiter Striking Down the Titans

There were many works centering around Greek mythology, which was very interesting to me since I will be teaching a Greek mythology class next semester.

Saint Matthew and the Angel
This was definitely the highlight for me. The detail of skin and the pages of the book were incredible. Matthew’s face and hands had a fascinating texture to them, the edges of the pages shimmered as if they were brushed with silver and gold, and the concentration in his countenance as the angel whispers in his ear – mesmerizing!

When I left, I felt I should thank someone for allowing me the privilege of attending. It was truly an amazing thing to stand in the presence of these works of art. One of the most breathtaking things was the sheer size of the paintings, in many cases much larger than I would have imagined. The Samuel Morse painting was huge. I sincerely hope I am able to attend all nine of the Louvre exhibitions. I was awed.

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