A Pavilion Of The Louvre.

A Pavilion Of The Louvre.

Among The Pictures Of The Louvre.

Among The Pictures Of The Louvre.

This sentiment is not a new one. Almost all the finest proofs of human genius since the dawn of history have been destroyed by man. It was man that shattered Egypt's grandest monoliths and temples; man that destroyed the Alexandrian library ; man that set fire to "Diana's Miracle" at Ephesus; man that reduced to a pathetic ruin the matchless works of the Acropolis; and man that smashed to atoms, or left buried in the earth for centuries, the statues which we now exhume and worship as our models of the beautiful. Truly, one sometimes shudders at the record of his race!

One of the most magnificent apartments of the Louvre is the Gallery of Apollo. One could spend hours in this room alone. The ceiling is in itself a picture-gallery, - each painting placed there in a gilded frame. Upon the walls are life-size portraits wrought in Gobelin tapestry. In the glass cases are objects so precious that we should expect to see them guarded by a file of soldiers, instead of by the one attendant who is stationed here. For, separated from the visitor's fingers by only a thin screen of glass, we see the diamond-hilted sword of Bonaparte, valued at four hundred thousand dollars, the sword and spurs of Charlemagne, caskets and gems which belonged to French queens, and even the famous Regent diamond, valued at three million dollars, and considered one of the finest in the world.

Murillo's Immaculate Conception, Louvre.

Murillo's "Immaculate Conception," Louvre.

The Gallery Of Apollo, Louvre.

The Gallery Of Apollo, Louvre.

A score of volumes might be written on the treasures of the Louvre which cannot be even mentioned here; but it is impossible to refrain from alluding to the most renowned and beautiful of all its relics of antiquity, - the Venus of Melos. One can perceive it from a distance; for the approach to it, as to the hallowed shrine of some divinity, is down a long avenue of sculpture. It seems incredible that as recently as 1820 this peerless figure lay buried in the earth on the small island of Melos in the Mediterranean. Shattered by some barbaric hand, it had been buried there for probably fourteen hundred years; but when discovered, it was immediately purchased by the French Government and placed in triumph here in an apartment by itself.

The Gallery Of Apollo, Louvre 2

The Gallery Of Apollo, Louvre.

The Approach To The Venus Of Melos.

The Approach To The Venus Of Melos.

The unfortunate loss of the statue's arms prevents a positive knowledge of its original attitude. Some artists think that, when complete, it represented Love disarming Mars,- the god of war, - so frequently associated with her in statuary. In that case, the goddess was, perhaps, in the act of taking from him his shield, one hand grasping its lower, the other its upper border, while the chief burden rested on her knee. Some, on the contrary, have supposed that she was holding above her head the apple which the shepherd Paris had given her, as a token of her preeminent beauty. The second theory fails, however, to account for the prominent position of the left limb, which favors the idea that some object originally rested there. Probably the question can only be satisfactorily determined by appealing to the goddess herself, and as I gazed on her serene and noble beauty, I felt inclined to murmur O goddess of that Grecian isle Whose shores the blue AEgean laves,