Sunday, June 01, 2014

Musée de l'Armée

Lucas wanted to go to the Musée de l'Armée at Les Invalides, so off we went. I enjoy that, when we go places in Paris, I can remember taking Max there as a little boy, then young Max and Lucas, then the boys when older with a tiny Eva in tow, and my children as they are now. There are memories embedded in the different places we go, and I feel like the memory-keeper, since in many cases, my children were too young to really remember. But I digress...

This museum is chock full of armor, for both human and horses (and, in one case, dogs) and weaponry. It blows my mind to imagine the weight and awkwardness involved in wearing chain mail and armor. (Not to mention how incredibly hot it must have been in there.)

You can't really see the horse's eye within its fly-eye cage, but it looks terrified. Not that I can blame it.

I know I've taken this photo before, but I just find it fascinating. I don't like guns, and would never own one, but I am fascinated by these shadows.

We were marveling at the amount of detail and ornamentation on both the armor and the weapons. It's interesting that such craftsmanship and beauty went into things designed for battle (and pageantry). Each one of those little cameos on this sword were carved. Unbelievable.

This looks so heavy! And hot. I can't help imagining how oppressively hot I would be if I had to wear it. And then a suit of metal with a helmet covering my face. Shudder.

We were also amazed by the size of the armor. People were definitely smaller in the past! At least French people. And I'm not talking about the child-size armor, which we also saw.

Lucas thought that at least the soldiers would have been big and muscular, but almost all of the suits of armor looked too small to fit him (and he's not a particularly big guy!).

Here's something interesting: the placard next to this bas relief explained that the bird was piercing its heart with its beak and the blood was flowing down to feed the baby birds, to represent the sacrifices parents make for their children. Smotherhood to the max!!

There are windows through which you can see shelves upon shelves of gauntlets, helmets, and other armor parts. Also rifles and spears.

Okay, I feel sorry for the horse that had to wear this! It doesn't even look like it could reach its full stride!

Look at the difference between the part of the building that has been restored vs. the part that hasn't!

Eva chasing pigeons.

They were having a special exhibition on Les Mousquetaires (Musketeers). I loved it.

This sketch captures so much with just a few lines. I wish I could do that!

A Picasso drawing of a Musketeer.

At the end, there were costumes and a sword you could try!

This alone was worth the price of admission.

1 comment:

Christina said...

Eva's Mousquetaire face is incredible.

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