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Even though I like going to a museum to experience the beauty of artwork in person, looking at an art museum virtually is quite a great experience too. To be frank, it is the first time I ever experienced an art museum virtually. For my assignment I have chosen Louvre Museum, the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. The museum opened on 10 August 1793, during the first anniversary of the monarchy’s demise. It was made a public museum during the French revolution.
The museum covers an area of more than 782,910 square feet with having 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century to display. In 2019, the Louvre received 9.6 million visitors, making it the most visited art museum in the world.Louvre Museum is 227 years old. It is located in Paris and considered a central landmark of the city. It was initially opened on 10 August 1793 with 537 paintings among which many were property of royal and confiscated church.
Ever since there has been a lot of changes in the structure and the amount of artwork in museum
. The art collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Easter Antiquities; Greek Antiquities; Etruscan and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculptures; Paintings; Prints; Drawings and Decorative art. During this virtual tour of the museum online I was able to experience all of them. The artwork I liked the most in the self portrait department of the museum was Nicolas Poussin self portrait. It is Oil on canvas, 98 x 74 cm painting.
Poussin painted two self portraits in the same year (1650) the other painting is displayed at the Gemaldegalerie of Berlin. The center of attraction while entering the Academy department is Groupe de Venus et Cupidon. It is a marble carved sculpture. A statue of a mother holding an apple while his son is trying to take that apple. In this sculpture we could see use of different style of lines to shape the objects and give it a realistic feel. Other artwork that Louvre Museum is well known for is The Seated Scribe also known as Squatting Scribe. It is a famous artwork of the ancient Egyptian time. It was discovered in year 1850 in Serapeum of Saqqara. It is a painted limestone statue. His eyes are made with magnesium carbonate, rock crystals and copper alloy. His nipples are made of wood. It looks like the statue of a man sitting represent a scribe. It is holding a rolled papyrus. It feels like the status was holding a brush earlier, but now it’s missing. The eyes of the statue of attention grabber, it looks like most of the time was devoted to his eyes. The Seated Scribe was made around 2450–
2325 BCE. The rusting of his hand and oxidization shows sign of the statue history. Even though of the age of statue it is in surprisingly good condition. Another most famous artwork museum is well known for is the painting by Leonardo da Vinci “Mona Lisa”. This artwork is considered one of the most expensive and famous artwork of all time. This painting is likely of the Italian noblewoman Lisa Gheradini the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. Her name was given to Mona Lisa. Mona Lisa is an Oil painting on a white Lombardy polar panel. It has believed to be painted between 1503 and 1506. In the painting the woman sits upright in a reserved position on a ‘pozzetto’ armchair with her arms folded. Leonardo has successfully made woman in the painting feel alive, by not drawing outlines on it. The soft blending creates an ambiguous mood ‘mainly in two features: the corners of the mouth and the corners of the eyes’. Leonardo was first painters to use aerial perspective in his painting. This painting was one of the first portraits to depict the sitter in front of an imaginary landscape. Mona Lisa’s eyebrows or eyelashes are not clearly visible. There has been some arguments on it by historians that during those times it was common for women’s to pluck their eyelashes, but in a recent study by French engineer Pascal Cottee using ultra-high resolution scans of the painting provided evidence that Mona Lisa was originally painted with eyelashes, but over the time it disappeared, may be due to the reason of over cleaning. Mona Lisa painting survived more than 500years and due to not being fully restored it has gone under variety of conservation treatments and current condition of the painting is result of that process. Painting of Mona Lisa is quite different from the painting we saw in the class.
This painting was given a realistic feel to it with a smooth surface and using no borders to differentiate the objects from one another. The Mona Lisa was among the first artworks to be exhibited in the Louvre, which became a national museum after the French Revolution.Louvre Museum virtual experience website is good, but it has some drawbacks to it too. This website is design in such a way that no artwork can be seen in a 360 degree view angle. Moreover during the virtual experience one has an option to magnify the text written besides the artwork, but it has limitation to it. Since it is located in France when using that magnifying glass it provides a user only words written in French and English text cannot be seen which is written underneath it, while if one try to zoom in the actual text in the picture it is almost impossible to read it. Virtual experience is good, but it don’t provide life like experience, since it need a lot of zoom in and zoom out sometime making it a bit frustrating to appreciate the beauty of artwork. During this pandemic I will agree that there is no better way to have a virtual tour of the museum and experience it, but it is also true that if you have to experience and appreciate beauty of any artwork you have to see it in person to feel it.
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