Photo: VIVE Arts

Check Out the ‘Mona Lisa’ Away From the Crowds and Its Protective Casing

News Museums Art + Architecture
by Eben Diskin Jun 19, 2019

The “Mona Lisa” is probably the most famous painting in the world, but it’s also the most difficult one to see in person — not only is it much smaller than what you may think, but it’s also surrounded by massive crowds all the time. This October, the Louvre is tackling this issue with a VR experience that will allow visitors to see the painting up close and personal without hordes of other tourists or the protective casing.

The actual reason behind this initiative is to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death in a retrospective exhibit that will start on October 24, 2019. That said, the result is the same: You’ll have Mona for yourself.

Collaborating with VR company HTC Vive, the VR experience called “Mona Lisa: Beyond the Glass” will allow visitors to use virtual reality to look closely at the masterpiece and discern details invisible to the naked eye.

According to a statement from the Louvre, the project is meant to “reflect the revolutionary practice of Leonardo […] The VR experience will pay tribute to an artist who has continued to innovate throughout his rich career and will celebrate the undying legacy of one of the greatest painters in history.”

In addition to the “Mona Lisa,” other da Vinci drawings and artwork will also be on display at the exhibition, including “The Virgin of the Rocks,” “La Belle Ferronnière,” “Saint John the Baptist,” and “Saint Anne.”

“Beyond the Glass” will also be available through HTC’s digital subscription service, so you can still get the full “Mona Lisa” experience even if you can’t make it to Paris.

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