Secrets of the Louvre : Famous Feet


The Louvre is enormous but it is simple to create a unique visit all on your own by piecing together a theme and letting it guide you from artwork to artwork.

Choosing a motif and searching it out in at the Louvre is a fun and stimulating way to train your brain and eye and to personalize your tour. Stay simple for kids : fruit, animals and water all work great. Adults can go as intellectual as they want, delving deeper into iconography and style.

For part two of our Secrets of the Louvre series we will piece together an original tour and turn the museum visit on its head…to look at some of the museum’s most remarkable feet.


1. The exposed toes of Gudea, Prince of Lagash, Tello,  2120 B.C.

This diorite sculpture was found with many others like it in the archeological digs of the ancient Mesopotamian site of Tello in modern Iraq. The portraits of Gudea are almost all in a sitting position with the feet exposed from under the prince’s cuneiform engraved robe. The contrast of the sculptures formal style and the accentuated feet can seem a bit comical, I’m wondering why he’s going barefoot in that dress.

2. The smooth soles of The Sleeping Hermaphrodite, Roman Empire, Second Century B.C.

This sculpture is different from every angle, with aspects both masculin and feminin. The feet are particularly interesting in the way they convey the emotion of the figure, not without a certain, ahem, eroticism.

3. The flying feet of Mercury Abducting Psyche, Adrien de Vries, 1593

These have to be my favorite feet in the Louvre. As Mercury attempts to take Psyche she climbs up his winged ankles and the two seem to ascend into the air. The treatment of the bronze and the virtuostic movement in this work starts from the feet up, and I’m sure your curious to know how the story unfolds.

4. The mirrored step of the Diplomat Kanefer and his wife, Egypt, 2590-2565 BC

This double portrait is typical of the 4th Dynasty where couples are represented standing or sitting together in solidarity. Kanefer and his wife balance inside of a network of hieroglyphs that designate their function and role in society. I vote them cutest couple.

5. The shiny sandal of the Seated Minerva, Roman Empire, Third Century A.D.

The purple porphyria and glistening bronze of this Roman goddess of Wisdom’s dress and sandals correspond to her ethereal nature, and are those flip-flops?

Your turn!


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