Museums in Paris

 

Louvre

There are plenty of museums in Paris, not to mention some other attractions. But here I only look at the Louvre, the National Archaeological Museum (Musée d’Archéologie nationale - Domaine national de Saint-Germain-en-Laye), the Army Museum (Musée de l´Armée Invalides), the Musée d´Oresay, and the Musée Carnavalet (dedicated to the history of Paris).
It goes without saying that my focus is (in principle) on rusty iron objects and I thus will only consider a tiny portion of what you can find there.
There is a lot of art in these museums and experienced art connoisseurs know that (Renaissance) art comes in two major embodiments. We have the "Dead or soon to be dead Christian" art and the "Naked woman" art (see the Rome museums page) plus some portraits, landscapes and other less interesting stuff. Fortunately the Paris museums quite definitely subscribe to the "naked woman" art (no surpirse, I guess). One supreme example is the famous Venus of Milo displayed in the Louvre. Here she is:
   
Venus Milo
Venus of Milo
Greek, from around 150 BC.
Source: Photographed in situ Nov. 2021
The Louvre, like the Orsay, are preliminary art museums but the Louvre also has a tremendous amount of (art) pieces dug out by archaeologists (or worse). Quite often the old pieces are major works of the naked woman type of art, e.g. from the old Greek or Romans
Aphrodite Knidos Babylonian Isis
Babylonian Isis (I guess)
Note that goddesses wear their belly-button ruby rather low
Jiroft ladies
Some copy of the Aphrodite of Knidos
Greek, of course
Ladies (presumably naked) enjoying a bath
(Jiroft culture)
Source: Photographed Nov. 2021
  The Greek could not yet indulge in dead Christians (thank God or somebody) and the Romans had a different perspective to dead Christians. They therefore left us great art and the Louvre somehow (by the sword if necessary) acquired a good deal of it.
The pictures above demonstrate that older cultures also liked the naked woman kind of art, probably for all the wrong reasons we men like it today.
I know you would like to see more of this kind of high-quality art but I will now get down to business. The Louvre houses several objects already covered in this hyperscript, for example a very well preserved Luristan mask sword:
Luristan mask sword, Louvre
Luristan Mask sword in the Louvre, Paris
Shown and discussed here .
Source: Photographed Nov. 2021
There are many more objects from Luristan; here is a picture giving an idea of what you can see. The illumination is generally great and the show-case glass doesn't reflect too much. You just don't learn much about the items displayed but the Louvre is an art museum and not interested in educating you about the history of metals. Speaking about art, here is an old masterpiece:
   
Winged Ibex
From the Achaemenide Empire around 550 BC
Large-scale picture.
Source: Photographed Nov. 2021
That beautiful masterpiece is actually one of two handles of a large vase. The other one is in the Berliner "Altes Museum".
There is a lot more to see with relevance to our topic here but I'll just give you two more examples and a list of large-size pictures.
First a collection of daggers / short swords from the Egyptians and the Etruscians. Remarkable, because there aren't many examples around. So far I haven't shown you a lot.
     
   
Egyptian bronze daggers
Egyptian bronze daggers, Middle Empire, 2033 - 1710 BC
Large size picture
Source: Photographed Nov. 2021
   
Etruscan bronze daggers
Etruscian bronze daggers
Source: Photographed Nov. 2021
Not breathtaking but nice to have. One last object that I found somewhat remarkable
   
Etruscian furniture appliance attachment, ca. 500 BC
Source: Photographed Nov. 2021
  That furniture appliance sure looks a lot like the famous Celtic anthropoid sword hilts. Is there a relation? Who knows.
Finally, as far as the Louvre is concerned, a few links to large-size pictures plus comments:
  1. The "Louvre" Scarface Scarfaces appear in several modules of this hyperscript Here is a link to one.
  2. A double-pyramid iron bar from Khorsabad
    Possibly the only one still on display. Read here more about it. Around 160 tons of these bars were found, most are now lost (ship wreck).
  3. Assyrian sword bearers from Khorsabad Khorsabad French "archaeologists" were decisive (around 1843) in the discovery of the Khorsabad ruins. That's why the Louvre has ab astonishing collection of things from there.
Enough for the Louvre. Let's move on to the Army museum.
 
 

Army Museum

First of all, the Army museum includes the Dôme des Invalides and this edifice contains Napoleons tomb in the form of a humongous sarcophagus. Above the sarcophagus hovers his Napoleons's favored horse Marengo (in the form of a skeleton) in a more or less tasteful way.
The French still remember Napoleon fondly; most Europeans don't.
Marengo; Napoleon's horse
Napoleon's horse Marengo; still riding strong
Source: Photographed Nov. 2021
  The museum is huge and does have a nice collection of old swords and daggers, some quite interesting, but nothing to write home about. So I won't show any pictures here. It does have a juge collections of armour suits, all in mint condition, plus any number of swords from medieval times or newer. Definitely worth a visit.
Armor suits; Paris
A tiny part of the body armor on display in the museum
Source: Photographed Nov. 2021
     
On we go to the Musée d’Archéologie nationale - at the Saint-Germain-en-Laye train stop,. about 30 minutes from Paris. It's housed in a nice castle / palais and when I visited it parts of it were closed,
 
Musée d’Archéologie nationale; France
Musée d’Archéologie nationale
Source: Photographed Nov. 2021
     
The museum has an amazing collection of stone age things, including a lot of Venus figurines (including the famous Venus of Brassempouy); some are shown below. I should add them to my collection but the pictures aren't good enough. They are all rather tiny but leave no doubt that stone age artists were beholden to the naked woman art.
   
Venus; stone age, Paris
"Venus" sculptures from the stone age.
Source: Photographed Nov. 2021
  There are innumerable bronze and iron objects in the "bronze age" and "iron age" sections; below just one of many show cases.
Nartional archaeology museum; France
Some of the bronze objects
Source: Photographed Nov. 2021
They do have Celtic stuff, of course, including daggers with an anthropoid hilt
But enough of that. If you read all of the above, you now deserve your reward: the highlights of the Musée d´Oresay, and the Musée Carnavalet. None of them displays a single piece of rusty iron! They have true art instead. The Orsay, in particular, proudly displays what one could call the "Mother of all nude Women". Behold "L’Origine du monde" by Gustave Courbet (1819–1877). painted in 1866:
L´origine du monde
L’Origine du monde
Source: Photographed Nov. 2021
  There is far more good art at the Orsay, including lots of sculptures:
   
Orsay, Paris
One of many in the Orsay
Source: Photographed Nov. 2021
Finally, the Musée Carnavalet. It is dedicated to the history of the city and contains no rusty iron objects. But it provides for many hours of good entertainment. And it features newer versions of the art we so admire:
Art Noveau Beauty
Source: Phiotographed Nov. 2021
Enough. You get my drift. The Paris museums do provide for some interesting artifacts concerning the history of iron and steel but there is more to life than that. You'll find inspirations for extraironic activities there for sure.
 

With frame With frame as PDF

go to Critical Museum Guide

go to First Iron Swords - Provenance Problems

go to Critical Museum Guide: Metropolitan Museum, NYC

go to Critical Museum Guide: "The Vikings" Special Exhibition from Oct. 2014 - Jan. 2015 in the Martin-Gropius-Bau

go to Critical Museum Guide: Moesgaard Museum in Aarhus; Denmark

go to Museums in Rome

go to The Ages

go to Early Pyrotechnolgy - 2. First Technical Uses

go to Large Pictures - Chapter 11.1

go to Powder Metallurgy

go to Large Pictures I

go to Master of Animals

go to Large Pictures V

go to Venus Figurines

© H. Föll (Iron, Steel and Swords script)