Secondly: I had another near run-in at a museum. For background on the past incident, check this out.
I have a pretty basic knowledge and appreciation for art. I can recognize works by Picasso, Dali, Van Gogh and that's about it. My way of evaluating art in a museum consists of me asking myself one simple question as a I quickly walk past a painting: "would that look good hanging on my living room wall?" If the answer is "yes," I may stop, try to imagine the painting on other walls of my apartment, and maybe snap a picture. If the answer is "no" my gaze will dart to the next canvas hanging on the wall. Using this method, I can zoom through a gallery room full of 18th Century Flemish portraits in about 25 seconds. This turns my visits to art museums into a cross between mall power-walking and poster shopping.
I recently visited the Louvre in Paris, which I'm sure the French would call the greatest museum in the history of the world. I must admit that it was very impressive. The Louvre does not allow flash photography of its paintings. As I zoomed down the Grand Gallery I noticed this pretty awesome painting. I think it's a depiction on the Bible story when the evil Roman adulteress Herodias demands St. John's head on a platter. I could totally see this hanging in my bathroom wall, so I stopped to get a couple snapshots.
Unfortunately, I forgot to turn off the flash. See how Herodias' face is completely washed out in bright light. This is exactly what they're trying to avoid with the "no flash" policy. I probably faded away a microscopic layer of paint or something. Oh well.
Regardless, I was startled by the flash, and still on edge from the aforementioned "David" incident, so I did what any reasonable person would do...I turned off the flash and snapped another picture while running away. I later saw that tons of people were taking flash pictures of the Mona Lisa while 6 security guards nonchalantly joked and laughed with each other...so I guess they're not TOO concerned about the flashes.
Here's a better close-up.