Inside the Louvre with Beyoncé and Jay-Z
This weekend, Jay-Z and Beyoncé (queen of the surprise album) stunned us all once again with the nine-song, joint album Everything is Love, on Tidal—though the album has already made its way to iTunes and Spotify. Along with it came a six-minute-long, classical art-filled music video for the song "APESH*T," where the couple tours an empty
"Beyoncé and Jay-Z visited the Louvre four times in the last ten years," a spokesperson for the museum told Vulture. "During their last visit in May 2018, they explained their idea of filming. The deadlines were very tight but the Louvre was quickly convinced because the synopsis showed a real attachment to the museum and its beloved artworks."
While we can't promise you'll have the Daru staircase all to yourself to practice your own Beyoncé moves—let alone see the Mona Lisa room so absolutely empty—you can see the art featured in the video for yourself on your next visit to Paris. Keep in mind that there are more than 400 rooms; even for locals and regulars can get lost. Here, a guide to recreating the Carters' tour de Louvre.
The Great Sphinx of Tanis
This Egyptian sphinx in the Sully Wing was carved from granite more than 4,000 years ago. And no, it doesn't always have a blood-red backdrop and the tourist standing next to you probably won't be wearing a leather bodysuit. You can find the ancient relic at the start of the Egyptian antiquities collection, in Room 338, which you can access on the lower ground floor level. Things can get a bit bottlenecked here, as the corridors surrounding the sphinx lead into the Mediterranean antiquities rooms, but you can usually get a closer look Friday evenings, when the museum is open late.
Portrait of Madame Récamier
Tip no. 1: Don't try to sit on the parquet floor of the Louvre, no matter how artistic your Insta will look. Two of the Carters' dancers pose in front of Jacques-Louis David's painting of Parisian socialite Juliette Récamier, circa 1800. It's in the Louvre's Denon Wing, on the first floor in Room 702, near the Daru stairs. The room houses large French Neoclassical paintings, including another of David's famous works featured in the music video.
The Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon
Also in Room 702, and hard to miss: The Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon. It's huge—20 feet high and more than 30 feet wide—and unsurprisingly, Napoleon commissioned it himself. Jacques-Louis David painted this scene from 1804-1807; in it, Napoleon is crowning his empress Joséphine at the
Winged Victory of Samothrace
Okay, what's going on here... In one of the most striking presentations in the Louvre—with or without Bey—the Daru staircase in the Denon Wing leads up to the Winged Victory of Samothrace sculpture, created in marble around 190 B.C. (You'll find it on the map in Room 703.) Let's be honest: No docent is going to let you lie down in a nude leggings-and-sports-bra combo on the staircase. But don't let that stop you from exploring. At the top, beyond the Victory, is the European paintings section of the museum, where you'll find David's artwork from the video and the stunning Galerie d'Apollon, an intricately carved portrait hall that has a ceiling worth straining your neck for.
Ever wonder how big the Mona Lisa painting is? Absolutely tiny— just 30 inches by 20 inches—as you can see in this still from Beyoncé and Jay-Z's video. They're as close as you're going to get to Da Vinci's masterpiece, which normally has a crowd 20 deep around it in Room 711. Please don't take a selfie there.
Venus di Milo wishes she had curves like 'Yonce. This Grecian sculpture of Aphrodite was completed around 100 B.C. In real life, she won't be blue-tinged. You can find the armless beauty on the ground floor of the Sully wing, Room 346, surrounded by other marble Hellenistic works.
You don't even have to go inside the Louvre to get a taste of Bey and Jay's video. The I. M. Pei–designed glass pyramid that sits in the museum's public courtyard makes an appearance too. If you want a nighttime pic like this one, go on a Wednesday or Friday, when the museum's ground are open well past sunset, until 9:45 p.m.
-- Sent from my Linux system.