In preparation for creating my virtual gallery I have been tasked with looking at the Louvre and the 3DS virtual gallery of it. I will talk about the pros and cons of going there and looking at it through a screen at home.
The Louvre is one of the biggest art galleries in the world and holds one of the largest collections of art ever holding around 70,000 pieces of art over 650,000 square feet but the 3DS guide only actually has between 600-700 photographs of famous artwork so you experience much less than if you were to go to the Louvre, but if all the art was virtual there would be no need for the 2000+ staff that the Louvre requires which would put many out of employment. The advantage of everything being digital though is that there is no need for a curator to look after all the pieces of art which is very difficult job especially at somewhere like the Louvre.
Depending on where you live, it could just be cheaper to go the Louvre as 3DS’ can cost around £70+ and the guide itself costs £13.29 so in total the cheapest you might be able to get it is £83.29 if you don’t already have a 3DS. But the Louvre tickets cost £10.55 unless you fall under one of these categories, if you do there is no admission price and the entry is free (If you have valid ID).
visitors under the age of 18
18-25 year-old residents of the European Economic Area (EU, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein)
teachers of art, art history, and the applied arts
holders of a valid “Pass Education” card (primary and secondary school teachers in French public schools and private schools receiving government subsidies)
artists affiliated to the Maison des Artistes (in France) or the AIAP (Association Internationale des Arts Plastiques)
unemployed individuals and visitors receiving benefits (proof of entitlement must be dated within the last six months)
disabled visitors and their guest or helper
Louvre. 2015. Hours & Admission. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.louvre.fr/en/hours-admission/admission#tabs. [Accessed 27 November 15].
This means if you live in Central Paris you can go there for either quite cheap or for free, but if you live outside of Central Paris/Paris then you would have to cover travel costs and if you live in another country travels costs can increase by quite a bit and will most likely cost more than a 3DS + the game.
Despite tickets being free for disabled people they may not be able to get to the Louvre because of their disability which means the 3DS guide is actually really useful as it doesn’t require them leaving their home In order to see the more famous pieces of art and the Palace itself as the 3DS guide also contains 400+ pictures of the Louvre. For those that are visually impaired both the 3DS guide and the Louvre provide audio commentary.
Another advantage the 3DS guide has is how close you can get to certain paintings, for example; the Mona Lisa is behind quite a bit of security so the viewer can’t get close it meaning they can barely see the small painting but on the 3DS guide you can look at it close and zoom in on it to get an even closer look. But what the guide lacks is the visitor experience as lots of people would rather enjoy the art first hand and be able to talk about the experience of being there and also seeing and walking the huge palace first hand, and people have different interpretations of how art should be viewed, for instance some believe that art should be enjoyed first where others simply don’t mind how they view the art.
At the Louvre there are many health and safety regulations that people would need to be aware of in case anything happened whereas at home on the 3DS the main concern is damaging your eyes staring at the screen too closely or for too long but replacing these regulations are the requirements of the 3DS; It must have enough space and it must have a SD card bigger than 2GB due to updates. The Louvre is also at the disadvantage of the fact it is only open at certain times and isn’t open at all on Tuesday but as long as the 3DS is charged the guide can be used.
More about the 3DS guide:
After doing my research I have come to the conclusion that although the virtual gallery is a simple, easy and cheap way of looking at artwork especially for those who are physically disabled, quite poor or from a different country, it lacks the sheer impact and experience of walking around the palace and seeing the thousands upon thousands of artwork it holds. A virtual gallery is a great idea but only to an extent and is limited by software, hardware and how much that can actually be put in there (relating back to the only 600-700 photos of artwork on the 3DS guide). This data can be used to help me with my gallery as it informs me that creating a virtual reality is a great idea, especially for when it comes to the 3D room but the others rooms will lack the wonder of viewing, for instance: the foliage room will be transformed into looking, sounding and feeling like a forest but it will never have the actual effect of standing in a forest and experiencing the beauty it holds.
Nintendo. (2013). Nintendo Direct – Nintendo 3DS Guide: Louvre. [Online Video]. 27 November. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WavLP_3ew-A. [Accessed: 27 November 2015].
eurogamer, (2013), 3DSLouvre [ONLINE]. Available at:http://images.eurogamer.net/2013/articles//a/1/6/3/6/5/8/9/eurogamer-knft7g.jpg/EG11/resize/300x-1/quality/80/format/jpg [Accessed 27 November 15].