Around this time last year, museums all over the world started launching virtual this, digital that. The global shutdown meant that browsing ‘online galleries’ was as close to the real deal as we were going to get – and in fact, there were so many damn virtual museum tours that it was hard to keep up. (Trust us, we tried.)
Better late than never, the Louvre has just put almost all of its collection online. Best of all, it’s totally free to explore. And it’s no wonder it took so long: this is the world’s biggest museum (as well as, in normal times, the most visited) and the new platform, Louvre Collections, brings together digitised versions of a whopping 482,000 works of art. Count ’em!
The huge online exhibits span paintings, engravings, sketches, objects and sculptures from across the museum’s galleries, as well as those of the Musée National Eugène Delacroix. It even includes statues from the neighbouring Tuileries and Carrousel gardens.
Overwhelmed by the sheer bulk of all that culture? Try sifting the artworks by department or by various themed albums, or simply explore the museum room by room thanks to an interactive map.
With Paris’s museums all shuttered under current lockdown measures – and France’s borders still closed to the majority of travellers – it’ll probably be a while before you get to explore the Louvre IRL. But this epic new resource should keep you going for a few years at least.
Missing museums? Missing Paris? Check out our ranking of the 25 best artworks in the French capital.