One of my favorite things to do any time I travel is to explore art museums! For as long as I can remember, I have loved experiencing beautiful art up close and personal. My love for art started as an early teen when I was given a book filled with pages of beautiful copies of works by Edgar Degas. I mainly love Degas because of his fascination of painting ballet dancers. Being a ballet dancer myself, I adore Degas’ works. Also, I’ve come to realize over the years, Impressionism style is my favorite. Unlike my passion for discovering beautiful art, I am not a painter or sculptor by any means. I struggle to even make a proper stick figure family, haha! I do, however, enjoy trying to paint beautiful pictures with dancers where the stage is my canvas. Here are five of my favorite art museums that I have had the pleasure of visiting:
1. The Louvre
The Louvre is top on my list for obvious reasons…it’s in Paris for starters! It was the former Louvre Palace, so that in itself makes for a beautiful backdrop for any famous art piece to be housed. I know that the Mona Lisa is a bit smaller than you would expect, but I was in absolute awe as I stood in front of her. I even walked across the room and back to see if her eyes would follow me…I was amazed by her! Don’t you agree that some of the rarest and most beautiful things come in small packages?
Tip: Give yourself at least a half a day to explore. Visit the following site to view ticket information and more…The Louvre!
2. The Vatican Museum
This museum is a must see when traveling to Rome, Italy! Simply amazing! The highlight for me was definitely the Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo! I’m always amazed how someone like Michelangelo was not only known as a painter and a sculptor, he was also known as a poet and an architect. Make sure to also pay a visit to the nearby St. Peter’s Cathedral to see his beautiful sculpture, the Pieta. Here is a copy of the original sculpture that can be found in the museum.
I also loved gazing up at the beautiful ceiling and frescoes of large wall maps in the Gallery of Maps. I’m not going to lie, I kept looking for the famous hand of God reaching to touch the hand of Adam because, for a moment, I thought I was in the Sistine Chapel, haha!
One of my favorite art pieces wasn’t a painting or a sculpture. It was the most dreamy spiral staircase I have ever laid eyes on and had the pleasure of walking down. This spiral staircase reminded me of a snail and was built in 1932 by Giuseppe Momo. It is, for obvious reasons, one of the most photographed pieces in the museum.
Travel Tip: Purchase your tickets in advance online. It will save you possibly hours of precious time!
3. The Uffici Gallery in Florence, Italy
This museum is famous for housing many world renown artists. I knew I was finally going to lay eyes on famous paintings like the Birth of Venus and La Primavera by Sandro Botticelli. What I didn’t know, however, was that in one of the nearby rooms I would see the very sculpture that inspired the woman in his painting, Birth of Venus. There is also an amazing view of the Arno River and the Ponte Vecchio Bridge from inside the museum.
Tip: Purchase tickets ahead of time to avoid long lines, you might consider purchasing the Firenze Card if you plan on visiting many museums and attractions while in Florence.
4. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
I had the pleasure of visiting the MET on my first trip to NYC. I absolutely loved it! Too many things to mention. I, of course, loved their Impressionism collection.
I also was introduced to paintings by artist Stephen Hannock. Stephen is an American painter that incorporates text into his larger than life landscape paintings that relate to family or friends…things that would have meaning to him and his everyday life. These texts can be found hidden within his paintings, maybe behind a waterfall or in a field.
Tip: The suggested ticket pricing for the MET, is just that, a suggestion…you may pay less if you are on a tight budget. Visit the following link for more information…The Met Museum!
5. The National Gallery of Art in Washington DC
I hadn’t done any prior research before visiting the National Gallery of Art, so everything was a surprise, a very pleasant surprise! My two favorites were The Japanese Foot Bridge painting, by Claude Monet and the original wax version on Edgar Degas’ The Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. However, there are also masterpieces by Leonardo, Rodin, Rembrandt, Picasso and others on display.
Tip: Admission is free. Visit the following site for more information…The National Gallery of Art!
So there you have it, my 5 favorite art museums to date. Thanks for reading! Now back to you, what are your favorites? Which art museums should I put on my list to visit next?