VR brings Mona Lisa to life in Louvre VR experience

VR brings Mona Lisa to life in Louvre VR experience
VR developer Emissive has brought the world’s most famous painting to life in a 3D environment at the Louvre Museum using VR headsets to allow users to ‘experience’ the painting in a unique way.

The VR experience, commissioned as part of the Louvre Museum’s Leonardo da Vinci exhibition is the first of its kind to be displayed to the public at the museum, forming part of the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Da Vinci’s death in France. 

The Louvre is one of the most visited museums in the world, limiting the amount of time visitors can take in individual artworks as Emmanuel Gorinstein, art director, Emissive said: “Because of the crowd, you have an average of 30 seconds standing in front of the painting because there is (sic) too many people.

“They said ‘We need to find a way to get closer to the painting and what da Vinci wanted to express and the VR experience seems to be the best way to do it.’”

The experience, called Mona Lisa: Beyond the Glass highlights new scientific research on da Vinci’s techniques and painting processes through VR visualisation, including a 3D rendition of Mona Lisa herself and the complex background created by da Vinci. 

Emissive worked with the Louvre’s da Vinci experts and HTC. The team used Infared, X-Ray and refractograpic images of the painting to create models for the experience, incorporating every intricacy and distinctive hallmark of da Vinci’s work for an authentic recreation of both the Mona Lisa and the otherworldly background. 

The display will run at the Louvre Museum from 24 October 2019 – 24 February 2020 with a ‘home release’ now available on Viveport which includes a recreated ground floor gallery in the Louvre, featuring four da Vinci paintings and details on each painting including more content and information on the Mona Lisa.

Maite Labat, head of digital and audiovisual productions, Louvre Museum said: “I think innovation and digital innovation is great for museums and we have to use it as a tool to discover again arts and masterpieces. 

“Nevertheless, we have to be careful not to use too many screens between the art and our audiences.” 

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