While walking around the Louvre galleries in person is a hard experience to beat, most people can’t make it to Paris on any given weekend. Additionally, the museum can only display a fraction of its hundreds of thousands of works of art at any given time.
With an internet connection, you can now see them all whenever and wherever you want. Like Smithsonian reports, the Louvre recently launched a new online database that houses its entire collection of more than 480,000 pieces. This number also includes all art from the Musée National Eugène Delacroix, sculptures from the Tuileries Gardens and Carrousel du Louvre, and works from the National Museums Recovery Program. Objects in the latter category were looted by the Nazis and recovered by France after World War II, and the Louvre has worked to reunite them with their rightful owners.
The database, which experts will constantly update, provides access to the works exhibited, stored and loaned to other institutions. You can search for something specific in the search bar, or you can explore by category: Paintings, Sculptures, Furniture, Textiles, Jewelry and Adornments, Writing and Inscriptions, and Objects. Several thematic albums (for example “The Art of Portraiture” and “The Great Events of History”) can guide you through your virtual journey, and there is even an interactive map of the Louvre, so you can see what’s on show right now.
“Today, the Louvre is dusting off its treasures, even the lesser-known ones. For the first time, everyone can access the entire collection of works free of charge from a computer or a smartphone”, declared the president and director of the Louvre, Jean-Luc Martinez, in a statement. “I am sure that this digital content will encourage more people to come to the Louvre to discover the collections in person.
The Louvre is still closed due to COVID-19, so the new online hub is currently the only way to view these collections. To help you dream of a future trip, do not hesitate to consult the museum’s website, which has also been redesigned to be more complete and user-friendly.