The Musée du Louvre has recently launched an online collection database and new website, allowing art-lovers and researchers across the globe to access the museum’s entire collection of artworks from the comfort of their homes.
This comes after the launch of two new digital tools by the Louvre, namely collections.louvre.fr, a platform that for the first time ever brings together all of the museum’s artworks in one place; and a new and improved website, louvre.fr, that is more user-friendly, attractive and immersive. An interactive map of the museum is also available.
In October 2020, lockdown restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic saw the Louvre – like so many museums across the globe – closing its doors to the public and leaving iconic works of art such as the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa without the usual throngs of viewers.
‘Today, the Louvre is dusting off its treasures, even the least-known. 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.’Jean-Luc Martinez, President-Director of the Musée du Louvre
The collections database
Designed for both researchers and curious art lovers, the collections.louvre.fr database already contains more than 482,000 entries, including works from the Louvre and the Musée National Eugène-Delacroix, sculptures from the Tuileries and Carrousel gardens, and ‘MNR’ works (Musées Nationaux Récupération, or National Museums Recovery) recovered after WWII and entrusted to the Louvre until they can be returned to their legitimate owners. For the first time ever, the entire Louvre collection is available online, whether works are on display in the museum, on long-term loan in other French institutions, or in storage.
The site offers several ways to delve into the collections: simple or advanced searches, entries by curatorial department, and themed albums. An interactive map helps visitors prepare or extend their visit and allows them to explore the museum room by room. Updated regularly by museum experts, the database will continue to grow and reflect advances in research.
The new louvre.fr website
Designed to reach the widest possible audience, the Louvre’s new website is divided into three main sections: ‘Visit’, ‘Explore’, and ‘What’s on’. Focusing on works in the collections and the sumptuous settings they are displayed in, the site invites visitors to appreciate the former palace as they move from room to room. Available in French, English, Spanish and Chinese, images and video are given pride of place. The site can be visited on tablets and computers, but is intended primarily for use on smartphones, given the widespread use of mobile devices today. The website is designed to stay in synch with the Louvre as the museum develops more digital content.
Combing the archives for colonial and wartime acquisitions
The move to further digitise the museum also comes during a time when the Louvre continues to probe its archives for wartime acquisitions and works from former colonies in an attempt to carry out dedicated provenance research in order to find the rightful owners or beneficiaries.