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Scott Shulman

I’d like to pass along some of my (art-related) experiences in Europe on our recent trip to Europe.

As expected, the Louvre was enormous, almost comprehensive, and overwhelming… we have kids and there was no way we were going to spend the whole day, so we targeted Italian and French Renaissance. I looked hard for my favorite– the Dutch– and couldn’t even find it so I don’t think they have much on display. Supposedly there was a Vermeer somewhere. But there is a huge selection of Italian Renaissance, made a bit more crowded by its proximity to the Mona Lisa, which has its own huge room to accommodate the throngs of people who seemingly wanted to only see that one painting. The French Renaissance section was the place to be for me– a ton of huge mural-sized paintings. The lighting couldn’t be much better and the building itself is beyond exquisite but we almost completely ignored it for lack of time. If you’re hard core I could easily see spending 2 whole days but for me thatd be way too much.
Get a fast track pass! Well worth it.

The Muse de l’Orangerie is right next door and has to be visited even if u don’t like impressionism. An hour was fine for me– it’s basically a very famous heavily impressionisic immersion in enormous murals of serene lakes and is truly transportive.

In London (if you’re focused on art) skip the National Portrait Gallery: its huge but is mainly about the subjects from a historical perspective with no consideration of the aesthetic quality of the portraits themselves.

The National Gallery was my favorite– better than the Louvre for me because there were a lot of gorgeous Dutch paintings. Also great medieval (another favorite of mine). There were no lines whatsoever despite the museum being free (in London many are). There are many Reynolds and other British landscape painters.

At the British museum- which is primarily an archeological museum- there is a small display of Rembrandt drawings and tiny etchings which inspired me as to how a small portrait with tiny details can be and extremely beautiful piece of finished art (at least in Rembrandt’s

If there were more time I would have visited the Cluny museum in Paris (medieval) and the Muse de Orsay (Victorian thru modern) in Paris and the Tate in London (British art). Maybe next time!