You no longer have to travel to France to see one of the world’s greatest art collections. You can now enjoy works from antiquity from your couch. Or appreciate Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” while taking the train to work. The Louvre has made more than 482,000 pieces available for free online.
Paris’s Louvre Museum has announced (in news we first heard about at Laughing Squid) a new online collection database to go along with its new website. Both resources, which are now live, will provide access to the museum’s many paintings, sculptures, relics, and more.
The all-new collections.louvre.fr database is a platform for art-lovers all around the world. For the first time ever it “brings together all of the museum’s artworks in one place.” The site features “works from the Louvre and the Musée National Eugène-Delacroix,” as well as sculptures from the Tuileries and Carrousel gardens. It also grants access to the Musées Nationaux Récupération, a collection containing works recovered after WWII. The works have been “entrusted to the Louvre” until they can be returned to their original owners. The site will also provide online visitors a huge advantage over in-person guests. The platform has all of the pieces on display in the museum, including long-term loans in other French institutions. But it also includes works that are currently in storage and out of sight otherwise.
The site also provides several ways to explore the collections. There are both simple and advanced searches, entries by curatorial department, and also themed albums. The database also includes an interactive map that “helps visitors prepare or extend their visit and allows them to explore the museum room by room.” And museum experts will continually update the site to grow the site “and reflect advances in research.”
“Today, the Louvre is dusting off its treasures, even the least-known,” said Jean-Luc Martinez, President-Director of the Musée du Louvre, in a statement. “For the first time, anyone can access the entire collection of works from a computer or smartphone for free, whether they are on display in the museum, on loan, even long-term, or in storage. The Louvre’s stunning cultural heritage is all now just a click away! I am sure that this digital content is going to further inspire people to come to the Louvre to discover the collections in person.”
The Louvre also unveiled a new main website. It features three main sections: Visit, Explore, and What’s On. Online guests can use it to virtually move from room to room. The official Louvre site, which is “intended primarily for use on smartphones,” is available in French, English, Spanish and Chinese.
What makes this even better is that the both sites are totally free. And that’s one word art lovers all across the world find beautiful.