Paris Muse merits the raves. My 22 year old son, who had never been to the Louvre, and my 55 year-old sister who lives in London and had been to the Louvre and other museums many times, were each delighted with the "fabulous" guides. The museum tours are limited to 4 people. Not at all scripted. They can present introductory overviews or give in depth and analyses and differing interpretations, depending on what you want. They often pose questions to get you to analyze the work. In an engaging way, the guides take you back in time, describing the historical context as well as how the art relates to styles from different periods. You benefit from being surrounded by a great collection as the guide asks you to compare and contrast artworks to help you appreciate them. We took the Notre Dame\Cluny, Highlights of the Louvre, and Hidden Masterpieces (Dutch), with three different guides (Inge, Barbara, Jessica); the content and conversational approach were consistently excellent. With the audioguide or a tour book, you receive isolated details-- who painted this, what year, etc, but without considering issues such as how including a glass of water in a still life allows the artist to demonstrate his skill in using paint to depict transparency, or how people in medieval times viewed rectangles versus circles on the facade of a cathedral. The Louvre or Notre Dame can be overwhelming but the Muse tours leave you instead with a sense that you have strolled along with an expert friend and developed some understanding of the place. The guides love the material and want you to enjoy and learn. We also took a tour through Context, and found Paris Muse every bit as good. Booking through the website is easy; you can exchange emails; tell them a bit about yourselves so they can tailor the tour; they provide a good map of the meeting place and photo of the guide, so you should have no confusion about meeting. Taking a Paris Muse tour will enhance your experience in Paris.
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