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Virtual reality: Caspar David Friedrich in the digital age

At the Alte Nationalgalerie on Museum Island you can now experience Caspar David Friedrich’s famous painting with virtual reality, too.

Andres Kilger / HG: Caspar Davd Friedrich / Staatliche Museen Berlin – Nationalgalerie, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz

How can a museum make use of technological innovation but also honour the works of old masters? And how do museums create any additional value for visitors in the virtual space? These are only some of the questions that the employees of the Alte Nationalgalerie have asked themselves.

In a cooperation with the French-German TV channel Arte and the film production company Gebrüder Beetz, the museum has started an experiment: using a virtual reality headset, visitors can dive deep into Caspar David Friedrich’s „The Monk by the Sea“. Like this, they can discover a previously invisible layer of the painting. At the start of the experience, the virtual landscape bears little similarity to the well-known painting. A shadowy beach with screeching seagulls can be seen and heard, ships appear at the horizon, a voice reads autobiographical statements of the artist. The monk appears here, too, but life-sized. The scene shows the first stage of production.

In the second step, visitors can paint over the picture through movement in the space. This way, we can retrace Caspar David Friedrich’s production process. After the experience, you’ll see the original on the third floor through very different eyes.

Address: Bodestraße 1-3, Mitte | Until June, 30th, Tue-Sun 10am-6pm, Thu 10am-8pm, 10/5 € entry

Directions: S-Bahn station Hackescher Markt

www.smb.museum/en/museums-institutions/alte-nationalgalerie/home.html