In the article Digital Louvre, I analyze the different interactive digital tools provided by the Louvre Museum both on the web, and in the museum facilities, to facilitate the understanding of its contents.

The website of the Louvre Museum has an interactive map called Virtual Tour that allows us to go through the complex map of the museum and open a large number of images and visualize each space, before visiting it.

Virtual Tour is an interactive map with multiple images

Virtual tour
Virtual Tour image

You can access to Virtual Tour.

As part of the Digital Louvre, the Virtual Tour is a tool that facilitates the location of points of interest and the appearance of the exhibition space we are going to visit. It is an essential support, taking into account the dimensions of the building, with numerous wings and galleries.

The most visited work in the Prado Museum is Leonardo da Vinci’s Gioconda or Mona Lisa. Given its importance, it is surrounded by security measures that include thick glass.

Visitor cannot stay in front of the painting for more than 30 seconds.

These circumstances have led the Louvre Museum to present a proposal based on virtual reality that allows on the one hand to visualize the work as a whole and in all its details and on the other to bring the character to life. The application is called Mona Lisa Beyond the Glass, which has been produced by the company HTC.

Mona Lisa beyond the glass a virtual reality experience

The Digital Louvre has created a virtual reality experience for the Mona Lisa beyond the glass , and users achieve a far superior experience to what is possible today in physical contemplation, which is limited by three factors:

  • Small dimensions of the painting (77 cm. x 53cm).
  • Crowding of visitors.
  • Strict security measures that place the painting behind thick glass, within a complex security system.

It is in these cases that augmented reality takes on special relevance, compensating, at least in part, for the limitations of live contemplation or at least complementing it.

We can analyze your creative process. We can look at your composition and the techniques used.

Leonardo created a new way of making portraits

Leonardo created a new way of making portraits, which until now could only be seen so closely by the museum’s own curators.

As for the recreation of the character, the figure has been modelled in full-body 3D and its environment and the imaginary landscape that serves as a background for the work have been recreated.

It is the first time the museum has used virtual reality

It is the first time the museum has used virtual reality.

This is an experiment aimed at visitors, who seek a better understanding of the painting.

X-ray and infrared reflectography techniques have been used to visualize the various layers with which the painting has been painted.

I recommend viewing the following video on You Tube describing the project by its protagonists:

Mona Lisa
Beyond the Glass

One part of the Louvre Museum’s website has a section where specific aspects are narrated that bring us closer to the art and works of the museum from different perspectives:

. A closer look

. Tales of of the museum

. Thematic mini-sites

A closer look, treats certain works in detail

The website has a very interesting section called “a closer look” where certain works considered to be of special relevance within the artistic heritage of the museum are dealt with in detail. Currently, 13 works of very diverse origin, format and period are shown. They are paintings, sculptures or decorative arts.

Comparison of two paintings by Maurice-Quentin La Tour Madame de Pompadour and President Gabriel Bernardee de Rieux
Comparison of two paintings by Maurice-Quentin La Tour
Madame de Pompadour and President Gabriel Bernardee de Rieux

Each work treated in “a closer look” is approached from several points of view:

. Observe: this is a visual tour of the work as a whole or in detail. For this we have high definition images, which allow us to zoom in on the various parts that make it up. The application itself suggests the parts of the piece that deserve to be observed in detail.

. Understand: here by means of an audio-visual it contextualizes us the work, his author, if he is known, the epoch in which it was realized, the vicissitudes that it has suffered up to belonging to the collections of the museum and everything what allows us to know the environment that has surrounded it up to today.

Observe, Understand, Compare, Conserve and Define of the pieces through multimedia and digital Louvre solutions

. Compare: it places the work in front of another one with similar characteristics as regards composition and execution techniques. The support used in this case is a text.

. Conserve: the process of restoration and conservation of each work is essential for us to be able to appreciate that what we are looking at is the work of a universal artist, but for us to be able to enjoy it today in its fullness, many and very delicate conservation efforts have been necessary, carried out by experts.

. Definitions: we have an online dictionary that describes all the terms used in the different multimedia supports, so that we can understand correctly what is described.

Tales of the museum, are animated films aimed at children where the adventures of some pieces are narrated until they are acquired by the museum.

Animated stories for children
Animated stories for children

Tales of the museum, a series of animated films for children

Thematic mini-sites, are small websites integrated within the museum’s website, where the highlights of the various temporary exhibitions at the Louvre are described. There are mini-sites dedicated to Alexander the Great, Rembrand, Ancient Russia, the Venetian Renaissance, Babylon, etc.

Mini-site dedicated to a temporary exhibition on Rembrandt
Mini-site dedicated to a temporary exhibition on Rembrandt

El Louvre DNP Museum Lab ha creado dos espacios interactivos sobre el Antiguo Egipto y la Pintura Española

Louvre DNP Museum Lab has developed two interactive multimedia spaces.

The first is dedicated to ancient Egypt. The museum uses an interactive system that gives access, through large touch screens and in a playful way, to traditions and customs. A multimedia application helps us to decipher a funerary stele.

In the second interactive space is dedicated to understanding the masterpieces of Zurbarán, Murillo and Goya.

Interactive of the Louvre dedicated to Zurbaran, Murillo and Goya
Interactive dedicated to Zurbaran, Murillo and Goya

In addition, the museum has a series of databases corresponding to the different departments of the museum in which its works are classified together with a description of them. These tools make it possible to organize the visit according to the interests of each individual or to guide a research project. All this information is available on the website of the Louvre Museum.

Louvre Museum has recently signed an agreement with Accenture Interactive

Louvre Museum has recently signed an agreement with Accenture Interactive to carry out the museum’s Strategic Plan in the digital area.

The Strategic Plan includes:

. Enrich the visitors’ experience before, during and after the visit.
. Create tools for employees to interact with visitors
. Improve the exchange of knowledge and the exhibition of art collections with the public, scientists and researchers, in person or through the Internet.

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