The Courtauld Gallery

Available on Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream, Oculus Go and Oculus Rift.

Themes for the classroom: French Culture and Language Arts; art history; French art; Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, Academic tradition vs. stylistic innovation during the 19th century; city vs. country, the spectacle of Paris during the Second and Third Empires; social classes and working conditions in France; collecting practices, tastes and philanthropy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; museum curation; storytelling; art making; technology.

This Boulevard experience brings users to the Wolfson Room at the Courtauld Gallery in London. It features eleven masterworks of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism by Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Paul Gauguin, from the prestigious collection of philanthropist Samuel Courtauld. The Gallery’s interior was built in the late 18th century expressly for the display art, and the Wolfson Room is particularly rich in historic architectural detail.

Users can move around the gallery and study any painting. A zoom feature for all paintings allows for close looking. A tablet offers extended written labels and information about the Courtauld Gallery. The audio narration is provided by award-winning author Neil Gaiman.

By activating the “double Os” to the left of the painting, users can enter Édouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, becoming a part of the spectacle of Parisian nightlife during the early 1880s. Audio narration is triggered by gazing at certain details within the picture: the trapeze artist’s boots, the bottle on the far left of the bar, the barmaid’s face and necklace, the oranges in the fruit dish, the roses on the counter, the chandeliers, and the gentleman in the top hat. To return to the galleries, the user turns their head and exits out of the picture frame.