Visiting The Louvre from my couch


Pedro Szekely

Tourists mill about as they wait for The Louvre to open, captured by Pedro Szekely.

As a recent art coinesseour myself, the famous displays of The Louvre present an excitement like no other. Even though the site holds the appeal of some of the best-known art pieces, traveling all the way to the Paris location seemed impossible; that was until The Louvre released a virtual tour of their exhibits. In hopes of uncovering a more convenient way to view pieces in their full glory, I decided to take on the museum’s displays from my living room couch.

Although I have had my fair share of virtual reality in the past, the Petite Galerie experience is one like no other. The Louvre offers five free unique exhibit walkthroughs, each of which provides site viewers with a guided path to follow and an opportunity to view each work. Sitegoers are given the opportunity to move, swivel and interact as they please, within reasonable restrictions. All of the frames are clear, and tourists are able to click on every piece of art to examine its significance. Even the name plaques and descriptions are transcribed directly onto the website so that any non-French speakers may still understand the backgrounds. 

The Louvre’s collection website also has detailed documentation of more than 480,000 works, many of which can be singled out on the virtual tour experience. When prompted to look closer, viewers are brought to a professionally curated photograph of the piece designed to accentuate all of its best features. Setting is difficult to control in person, so it is incredible to see the artwork as the professionals truly intended it to be seen.

After completing my tour, I am nearly inclined to believe that the virtual tour is the superior way to experience The Louvre, as professionals are able to truly maximize the influence of each piece. For any other art-lovers out there, I encourage you to take The Louvre’s online tour and leave your own thoughts in the comment section. Was it better or worse than your in-person experiences? Whatever the answer, almost anyone can agree that the innovations forced by the Coronavirus will change our lives forever.

If you’d like to read some tips and suggestions for viewing art, click here to read my suggestions!