at the Musée d'Orsay, a striking immersion in 19th century impressionist Paris

at the Musée d'Orsay, a striking immersion in 19th century impressionist Paris

To mark the 150th anniversary of Impressionism, the Musée d'Orsay is offering, until August 11, 2024, the immersive experience “An Evening with the Impressionists, Paris 1874”. A dive into 19th century Paris in virtual reality.

Virtual reality is coming to the Musée d'Orsay. For the 150th anniversary of Impressionism, the museum presents its new temporary exhibition “Paris 1874. Inventing Impressionism” and unveils a collection of major works, including in particular the famous painting Rising sun print, by Monet. At the same time, the museum offers an immersive exploration of the places that marked the Impressionist movement. Visitors will be able to discover, thanks to virtual reality, 19th century Paris and the emblematic places that inspired the movement.

Immerse yourself in the streets of Paris thanks to virtual reality

Equipped with a virtual reality headset, visitors wander through a 650 m² space. If, at first, the idea of ​​walking in another world is disconcerting, the sensation of immersion in a new reality is striking.

Guided by Rose, a fictional character created for the occasion, visitors attend the inauguration of the first impressionist exhibition in Nadar's workshop, located at 35 boulevard des Capucines. But not only! For an hour, and in complete immersion, participants travel through time, meeting famous painters who carried this artistic movement. Monet, Degas, Morisot and even Renoir, present their works and their sources of inspiration in turn.
The public wanders through eleven fictitious scenes evoking the emblematic places which marked impressionism and nourished the imagination of the artists: the island of Grenouillère, Le Havre, the Saint-Lazare station, etc.

Between documentary and fiction, this innovative experience offers visitors a new way to explore a part of art history. A virtual walk which enriches the exhibition by offering a new dimension to the story, and offers the public a fun approach to discover our cultural heritage.

Stéphane Millière, president of Gedeon Media Group, the team behind the experience, explains to us one of the reasons which pushed him to present this project: “Our goal is to combine the playful, the spectacular and the documentary collection. For us, it’s a new way of seeing images, of helping to pass on knowledge and of offering a new way of entertaining.”

Significant upstream research work

The result of a collaboration between historians, scientists and graphic designers, it took nearly two years of work for this immersive experience to see the light of day.

To gather the information necessary to design the project, the teams carried out in-depth research on the subject. For example, they carried out a study of period costumes, an analysis of the character and personality traits of the characters, their exchanges and their correspondence, in order to represent each protagonist as accurately as possible.

“The Nadar workshop was destroyed in 1988. It was impossible for us to have the plans of the workshop and no photos of the exhibition exist,” explains Stéphane Millière. To reconstruct his workshop, we, with the help of documentalists, found land registers. But also the lease of Nadar's workshop, the work he was able to do there, as well as a document recording the seizure of part of his property, with information on the furniture. With all this information, we managed to reconstruct the workshop. This work is like a treasure hunt, a puzzle.»

Significant research work was also necessary to realistically reconstruct the first exhibition of the Impressionists. “We found information in epistolary documents and in newspaper reviews. In the letters of the Impressionists, their loved ones, but also critics. They describe in particular what happens during the exhibition. He adds: the Musée d’Orsay provided its expertise. From the script to the details of the costumes, the frames, the lighting, the color of the walls.

This immersive experience, with its great visual quality and fun side, will appeal to the whole family.

Useful information

An evening with the impressionistsParis 1874»immersive virtual reality experience accessible from March 26 to August 11, 2024.
“Paris 1874. Inventing Impressionism”, extemporary exhibition from March 26 to July 14, 2024.

Full price: €32
Reduced price: €16

Includes access to the permanent collections and the exhibition “Paris, 1874 – Inventing Impressionism”.
Immersive experience accessible from 8 years old.
Experience not recommended for people with heart problems or those prone to epileptic seizures and migraines, as well as people with balance or vision problems.

Link to the Musée d'Orsay ticket office

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