The Gioconda is shown in 3D thanks to virtual reality

The first virtual reality experience at the Louvre Museum comes with La Gioconda in 3D, recreated with the help of HTC Vive.

“Entering the universe of the painting”, this is the objective of the project carried out on the masterpiece of Leonardo da Vinci by the Louvre Museum with the collaboration of HTC Vive. It is a virtual reality experiment that allows the viewer-visitor to see La Gioconda in 3D.

The idea is that whoever puts on one of the glasses that are already available in the Louvre can see the picture from another point of view. Keep in mind that a visit to this museum, the most visited in the world and probably the most famous, forces you to stop in front of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting. But the experience may disappoint. In front of the painting, a good cluster of visitors that prevent everything desirable comes close to each other. To this we must add the distance between the painting and the safety barrier that the museum places.

Nor do the dimensions of the work help, which is by no means one of those large murals designed to adorn entire walls. So the visitor can end up with a bittersweet taste after passing through the room of La Gioconda. The introduction of painting in a virtual reality environment can help visitors to deepen the picture.

Those responsible for the project have used infrared technology, X-rays and have played with the refraction of light to create this virtual reality experience. They have named it ‘Mona Lisa: Beyond the Glass’ and has managed to render the famous portrait in three dimensions, as well as deduce how the movements of the painting would have been.

Pass a Renaissance portrait to 3D
The experience, according to those responsible for the project, will allow the viewer to enter not only the debated gaze that gives center to the painting. It will also be possible to navigate the mountain landscapes that appear in the background in the painting and that normally go unnoticed by the force of the portrayed face.

Virtual reality will also reveal details about the techniques used by the author. It is definitely a way to disseminate art, to popularize it. New technologies contribute to this interestingly. The Prado Museum has used them in its bicentennial, as evidenced by MOOC courses that allow anyone to know more about any part of their collection without leaving home. The MIRÍADAX platform offers one of these courses focused on Velázquez’s work contained in the museum.

As for the Louvre, he has always been a pioneer in new technologies. It was one of the first museums that facilitated online access to part of its catalog. The new project goes in the same direction.

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