Virtual Reality Brought Van Gogh’s Masterpieces to Life and Broke the Musée d’Orsay’s Attendance Records
The Musée d’Orsay marked a “historic record” for 793,556 visitors for its exhibition “Van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise.” The show attracted a daily average of 7,181 visitors over 108 days since its October 3 opening, according to a museum announcement.
The show explores the last few month’s of van Gogh’s life in a small town near Paris before his death by suicide at 37 years old in 1890. Leading up to his untimely death, van Gogh painted 74 canvases in just 70 days including Doctor Paul Gachet , The Church of Auvers-sur-Oise , and The Cornfield with Ravens .
Along with these iconic paintings, the museum took the opportunity to create an immersive experience via a virtual reality headset that placed viewers among the works. An interactive section animated through artificial intelligence created a dialogue with van Gogh.
This is a milestone for the museum, with the largest attendance since it opened its doors in 1986. The attendance for the van Gogh exhibition comes ahead of the 2022 show “Edvard Munch. A poem of life, love and death”, which brought 724,414 visitors, as well as the 2018 show “Picasso. Blue and Pink” with 670,667 visitors.
Given the success of the van Gogh exhibition, the Musée d’Orsay plans to create an immersive experience around its upcoming show “Paris 1874. Inventing Impressionism”, which opens on March 26.