Meeting the ‘Mona Lisa’ for an Intimate (Virtual) Rendezvous

Meeting the ‘Mona Lisa’ for an Intimate (Virtual) Rendezvous


PARIS — Mona Lisa’s lingering smile continues to be the exact same, but she is acquiring a to start with-of-its-variety digital makeover from the Louvre Museum, which has struggled this year with the popularity of Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece and the throngs of selfie-snapping visitors.

With a blockbuster Leonardo exhibition speedy approaching, the Louvre and its manufacturing associates are good-tuning a virtual reality tour with a few-dimensional sights of the portrait that search past the jostling crowds, the shatterproof glass case and the layers of varnish from restorations and the fading eco-friendly patina.

The genuine oil on wood “Mona Lisa” was returned past 7 days to the skylit Salle des États, to coincide with the Oct. 24 opening of an exhibition marking the quincentennial of the dying in 1519 of Leonardo, grasp of the Italian Renaissance. During the summer, even though the Salle des États was becoming renovated, the portrait was moved to the Galerie Médicis, which resulted in significant overcrowding because of confined accessibility. Unhappy travelers complained about fleeting glimpses and limitations that held them about 15 feet from the 30-inch-tall portray.

The virtual reality tour will be a extra intimate come upon. The VR tour, built to treatment the difficulty of crowds and length, will be housed in a small gallery room close to the principal Leonardo exhibition and aside from the “Mona Lisa.”

The gallery, geared up with 11 headset stations, will give 7-moment virtual excursions that get started in a familiar crush of people with cellular telephones aloft. They guide via a gallery of paintings to the portrait of Mona Lisa, the wife of an Italian silk merchant.

“She is seated, and spectators will be dealing with her like a conversation, facial area to encounter,” stated Dominique de Font-Réaulx, the Louvre’s director of mediation and cultural programming.

In this digital land of Leonardo, spectators sooner or later fly above a valley and jagged hills aboard a wing-flapping glider he sketched (and which appears in the regular exhibition). Ms. de Font-Réaulx mentioned that the two curators of the primary exhibition have investigated all the historic information and facts for the digital tour narration, which include the visible particulars of Mona Lisa and her surroundings — from the mild wave of her hair to her velvet costume to the clay tiles of the loggias of 16th-century Florence.

“It’s patronizing. It’s disdain,” Mr. Rykner reported. Almost everywhere in France, he included, there have been “churches and monuments where you can locate big artwork — like a Velázquez or a Caravaggio.”

“With 3 million euros, you could get three masterpieces that you could give to the museums in France, so it would be true artwork for genuine people,” he mentioned.

Considering that that undertaking, Ms. Ireson has moved on to the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia as a deputy director of collections. The Barnes has instituted a system that delivers standard headsets to neighborhood libraries to boost its assortment of Impressionist is effective, then supplying absolutely free bus rides and museum tickets for the adhering to 7 days. About 50 percent of the contributors have utilized the cost-free passes, according to Ms. Ireson.



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