Cour Carree

I remember as a teenager visiting the Louvre for the first time. Equally dazzled by the design of the Cour Carrée, the East Facade, and the glass Pyramid, I walked around sketching and photographing, seduced by the unique beauty of each design. Since then, I have returned to the Louvre many times. The photo included here is from my visit from a few summers ago. At that time, the Cour Carrée appeared transformed by the insertion of a 500sqm reflective box at its center designed to contain the runaway for Dior’s ready-to-wear fashion show. Walking through the Cour Carrée that summer was a unique experience. Looking at the distorted reflection of Pierre Lescot’s Southwest Wing, and Jean Goujon’s sculptures made me uncomfortable. Yet, something was fascinating in seeing classical forms transformed into an optical aberration that, however, still retained and perhaps emphasized, in a desperate way, the symmetry, order, and finesse of its original components. I love this image as it blends in an unusual composition the old with the new, the universal with the temporary, refined elegance with glamour.