You probably won’t need to read Spotted by Locals to know that the Louvre is a Paris “must-see”.
By the way, why is it a must-see??? Probably because it is a gorgeous historical palace, which now hosts the biggest museum of the world, whose collections are among the richest, covering all periods of “western” art, from Mesopotamia until the 19th century and Romanticism.
Nevertheless, most guides always advise the same tour path, focusing on the same masterpieces, like the Mona Lisa or the Victory of Samothrace (missing until summer 2014 for restoration). And for the average visitor without much knowledge in history of art, I’m not sure it makes much sense to follow hordes of tourists whose main purpose is to photograph themselves in front of the same world-famous masterpieces… And it is definitely not the best introduction to art, which, according to me, must target the senses before the reason.
On the contrary, walking in the endless corridors, monumental staircases and exhibition rooms of the Louvre, without any imposed sense of visit, just following one’s intuition, looking OR NOT at the artworks, is a great experience. You will be more relaxed not only to appreciate the works (and also the beautiful views of Paris from the windows) but also to feel this unique sensation to be nearly alone, surrounded by paintings, sculptures or objects, witnessing the glorious heritage of centuries of history and testifying the great genius of humankind!
Far more convincing than any learned explanation about Da Vinci and Mona Lisa…