Museums are a bottomless storehouse of classical and contemporary art, a unique collection of historical relics and technical inventions, monuments and multimedia exhibitions. These treasures are now available remotely. And virtual excursions for everyone are conducted by guides. The raging pandemic is forcing people to look for new ways to enjoy art. However, for students self-education is a sacred duty. Virtual museums and online exhibitions are one way to continue expanding your horizons without risk of infection. But what are the pros and cons of this kind of cultural experience?
Popular museums that can already be visited online
The Tretyakov Gallery – Moscow, Russia
This virtual tour gives you the opportunity to visit one of the most famous Russian art museums in the world and see outstanding works of Russian artists using Google's Street View technology.
In addition, special virtual exhibitions can be found on the website of the State Tretyakov Gallery. These are full-fledged virtual excursions that reveal the work of Kuindzhi, Serov, Aivazovsky and other masters of Russian painting. The tour has an image zoom function that allows you to see the smallest details of the paintings and read the associated comments.
The Louvre – Paris, France
The Louvre is one of the oldest museums with a rich history of collecting artistic and historical relics in France, from the Capetian dynasty tibits include the finest works of art until the mid-nineteenth century, as well as exhibits from ancient civilizations.
The Louvre's official website offers two virtual tours, which allow you to get acquainted with the exhibits of Ancient Egypt and explore the history of the building from the 12th century to the present day.
The Sistine Chapel – Vatican
The Sistine Chapel is the most famous chapel in the world. Michelangelo's frescoes are second to none. This virtual tour offers two options: explore everything on your own, or use the autopilot feature to guide you through various points and provide commentary on each part of the chapel (in English). The visualization is commendable and the tour is very informative.
The Hermitage – St. Petersburg, Russia
The Hermitage is one of the ten most visited museums in the world, and this is not surprising – the museum's collection numbers over three million works of art and monuments of world culture, from the Stone Age to our century.
A large-scale virtual tour of the Hermitage allows you to get acquainted with a map of the three floors of the building, and either choose a specific exhibition hall you want to get to, or go through all the expositions in order. There are comments everywhere, and the image quality will be the envy of many similar projects.
Van Gogh Museum – Amsterdam, Netherlands
This museum contains the largest collection of works by Vincent Van Gogh (more than 200 canvases), as well as works by his contemporaries – Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat, Claude Monet and others. You can send on a virtual tour of the museum with Google, or you can look at the official website of the museum, which contains the artist's masterpieces with commentary and explanatory videos, as well as stories about his life and work. And all this is in a bright and interesting design.
The Uffizzi Gallery – Florence, Italy
In the Uffizi Gallery, which is the most visited museum in Italy, there is a huge artistic heritage: thousands of paintings from medieval to modern, antique sculptures, miniatures, tapestries. It is here that you can see paintings by world-famous masters: Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Raphael, Rubens, Rembrandt, and many others. The gallery contains original works, many of which are more than four centuries old. Together with the Google Arts and Culture project, you can go to the online Uffizi Gallery and enjoy part of the priceless collection.
And remember: Coronavirus is not an obstacle to educating yourself, but an opportunity. A truly gorgeous virtual tour can keep you busy for a day or even a few.