A lot of us are on COVID-19 lockdown at the moment, and some have had travel plans disrupted. If you were planning on visiting Paris but are now unable to, you don’t have to forego the sightseeing entirely. You can still explore the city’s famed museums and art galleries from your own home, thanks to the Internet. COVID-19 aside, these virtual experiences are also great for those with limited mobility. So click through to add a bit of Parisian art and culture in your life, no matter where you are.
Musée du Louvre
Go on a virtual tour of the Petite Galerie. The exhibition “The Advent of the Artist” examines the artist’s transition from the typically anonymous craftsman in the Classical period to the heroic or legendary artist figure of the Renaissance.
The Louvre has an app that introduces you to the Mona Lisa via your smartphone. Mona Lisa: Beyond the Glass is a virtual reality experience that reveals new scientific research on Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous masterpiece.
The Musée D’Orsay has a great YouTube channel full of videos in both French and English. For example, their English “Une œuvre, un regard” series is released every Tuesday and allows you to discover the vision of a contemporary figure—an artist, writer, philosopher, designer, musician, actor, film or theater director, or scientist—via an artwork chosen from the collections of the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée de l’Orangerie.
There’s also the “Orsay en movement” series, which features short films shot at the Musée d’Orsay and offers details on artistic movements that arose between 1848-1914.
The Centre Pompidou also has a YouTube channel. Most of the videos are in French if you’re lucky enough to be a French-speaker, but there are some exceptions. For example, “Chefs-d’oeuvre #PompidouVIP” is a series of short videos that invite you to discover some of the most important modern and contemporary artists from the Centre Pompidou’s collection.
If you missed the exhibition of renowned British painter Francis Bacon, which closed on January 20 this year, don’t worry: You can have an exclusive tour of the exhibition with the curator himself.
Also available in English are a series of podcasts. If you didn’t get to the exhibition of Christian Boltanski, which closed on March 16, you can listen to a podcast that explores notions that are essential to his art. The exhibition of Christo and Jeanne-Claude was due to start on March 18, instead listen to an exclusive interview about Christo’s artistic debut in Paris, his working process, and the adventure of wrapping the Pont-Neuf. You can also listen a tour through the collections, and the galleries of the 20th century.
Musée Rodin has a page on its website dedicated to #culturecheznous. This page features plenty of resources; for example, you can immerse yourself in the mystery of, and learn more about, Rodin’s masterpiece La Porte de l’Enfer. You can explore Rodin’s collection of Egyptian art and antiquities before the upcoming 2021 exhibition “Rodin and Egypt.” Read the timeline of Rodin’s life and discover the trials and tribulations that defined him as an artist. Finally, explore the museum collections and even watch videos on how to create a sculpture.
Google Arts and Culture
Google Arts and Culture is an incredible resource created by the Google Cultural Institute. You can discover artworks, collections, and stories from 500 cultural organizations around the world, from museums to historic sites. You can view entire exhibitions and walk through museums and sites using Google Street View. From France, you can explore the Musée d’Orsay, Musée de l’Orangerie, Musée du Quai Branly, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Opéra National de Paris, Grand Palais, Palais de Tokyo, and even Château de Versailles.
Launched on January 8, 2020, Paris Musées offers 150,000 high-definition digital reproductions of artworks from 14 Paris museums. Only reproductions of 2D works that are not copyright restricted are currently available, but each reproduction is free to download. You will receive a high-definition image of the work as well as a document providing information and an explanation of the work. Museums include the Musée d’Art Moderne, Petit Palais, Musée Cognacq-Jay, and Musée Carnavalet.
- You can also take a virtual tour of Fondation Claude Monet Giverny.
- Explore the exhibition Pompéi at Grand Palais via their app.
- And check out Fondation Louis Vuitton’s YouTube channel.
Written by Ali Postma for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates.