Virtual Veronese ★★★★ The National Gallery | Mar 7 - Apr 3, 2022 (Free Entry)


This is a unique opportunity to see Paolo Veronese’s The Consecration of Saint Nicholas in its original setting. The work was commissioned in 1561 as an altarpiece to hang in the church of San Benedetto al Po, near Mantua, Italy. Thanks to the wonders of Virtual Reality technology, viewers can now experience the masterpiece in its intended home and hear the fascinating back story to its creation. In this experience, visitors are admitted in groups of three and are fitted with earphones and a "Quest 2" headset. These offer an opportunity to view Veronese's creation in a whole new manner. One can walk about and admire the altarpiece, the chapel and its other works. There are two choices of guides for the visit: one is the curator of the exhibition and the other is an opportunity to overhear two monks discussing Veronese's painting and its acquisition. While both explore the work's historical context, we found the latter more engaging. The choice is up to each visitor. For those concerned, there is an excellent sanitation protocol for the equipment and ample information about any potential health and safety issues that may require consideration before commencing the experience. All in all, it is not only great fun to be experiencing the future through the VR experience, but it is exhilarating to have a new perspective on the past.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Image: 3D Capture, Mesh Optimisation of the Chapel of Saint Nicholas in the Church of San Benedetto al Po, Mantua, Italy created by ScanLAB projects, commissioned by The National Gallery

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