Visiting a museum is, for any art lover (no matter how neophyte it may be), a very special, almost mystical experience. The works that we usually see in a museum that we are interested in are almost always works of which we already know their history, of an author we like, of a subject that moves us ...
But it is not always possible to get as close to the pictures as we would like. In fact, traveling around the world to see all the works that are scattered around the world can become a long journey. And this is not always possible. Or not as fast as we would like.
On the other hand, sometimes, even after or before visiting a museum, we are interested in going deeper into a work: getting a little closer to the canvas and discovering details that were not revealed to us in situ. Most museums already have an important online gallery, so that many times it is possible to make virtual visits and even download those paintings in truly decent resolutions. And even more.
Today we propose ten museums in the world that you can visit at any time. No planes, tickets or queues in between. Just the works and you.
1. National Museum of the Prado
We could not start this virtual tour without first going to the Museo Nacional del Prado. Not surprisingly, it is one of the most important museums in the world, if not the most relevant, thanks to the large number of works and masters that are housed within its walls.
The experience of walking through all its rooms is frankly unrepeatable and should be lived, at least once in your life. However, if you cannot travel, need more information about a work or want to delight yourself again with all the art that you have at your disposal, you can take a virtual visit.
To do this, you must directly access the Collection of the Museo Nacional del Prado. From here you will have the opportunity to visit all the masterpieces that are in the collection , searching by the name of the artists or by the time or current in which they are located. You will be able to access a very complete biography of the authors, access the technical sheets, video explanations and, of course, the details of the work in question.
2. Reina Sofía Museum
Here we find another of the museums that you should not miss if you travel to the capital of Spain, Madrid. In this neoclassical building, located in one of the most important points of the city, we find all the 20th century and contemporary art that one could wish for . Of the permanent collection of the Reina Sofía National Museum, it is necessary to highlight the works of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró, but also those of Picabia, Magritte, Tanguy, Braque, Gris or Bacon.
Classified into three collections, the permanent exhibition can be visited on the Internet. And although seeing Guernica in the first person is much more impressive than contemplating it from a screen, it is great that you can travel through the works at the click of a button. You will find all the technical information about the paintings, you can download the images and learn about the work and many other related authors.
3. National Museum Thyssen-Bornemisza
Although there is nothing like being in front of a real painting, in the there and now, it is possible to replace the experience to live it online. Because we can't always be in all the places we want to be at all times. The Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum has a very important private collection , the largest that exists in our country and probably in the world, with works by artists such as Duccio, Van Eyck, Dürer, Caravaggio, Rubens, Monet, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Mondrian or Klee, to name just a few.
The works that inhabit the museum are more than 1,000 , but the truth is that the search engine on the website offers us a good sample. You can search by period, materials or classification, to see works of the Dutch painting of the seventeenth century, the primitive Germanic of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries or European surrealism of the twentieth century.
In this way, you will be able to visit the permanent collection and you will have the possibility to read the information about the painting , listen to it, view it in full size, download the image or print the file. It is, without a doubt, a good way to calmly know the description and history of each of the Thyssen's works. Safety pin.
4. National Museum of Art of Catalonia (MNAC)
Let's now travel to Barcelona, to see the work contained in another of the most important museums in the country. It is the National Museum of Art of Catalonia or Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC) , especially noted for Romanesque art, which is one of the most complete in the world. In addition, it consists of the collections contained in the Museum of Modern Art (1945) and the Museum of Art of Catalonia (1934).
The museum has a section on its website that takes us directly to the catalog, in which we can also find special sections that tell us about the different works. They are commented and consist of images that can be downloaded for a closer look . Just select the magnifying glass and start scrolling through the images to find all kinds of details.
You can also find related artists and learn more about certain works , currents and artists. The page is absolutely didactic and easy to explore. It will like you.
5. Guggengheim Museum Bilbao
The Guggenheim in Bilbao is, without a doubt, another of the must-see museums in our country. In its rooms we can find works by Klein, Kooning, Polke, Warhol, Saura, Tàpies, Barceló, Chillida or Valdés, so accessing the museum can be one of the best plans to celebrate in Bilbao.
If you cannot go there or want to take a look at the works on the Internet, you can also do so, because the Guggengheim in Bilbao has published all the creations of these artists on its website. If you access the Collection section, you will get a chronological list of all the works.
When you click on one of them, you can enlarge the image in a large size and read a long and complete description of the work. In addition, you will be able to know the technical sheet and find interesting related artists .
6. Vatican Museums
The Vatican Museums are a golden opportunity to discover the cradle of our civilization. The museums are a group of galleries and rooms with incalculable artistic and historical value , owned by the Church, which can be visited in the Vatican City itself. But if you are far away, you will always have the opportunity to access these works and architectural ensembles virtually.
The Vatican Museums are many , so the visit - both physical and virtual - will require many hours of dedication from you. If you are ready for it, we invite you to access this page of the Collections of the Vatican Museums. One of the great advantages is that you will find the guided tour in different languages, including Spanish. This will make it easier for you to follow the visit.
Within the museum section you can find great gems, such as the Egyptian Gregorian Museum, the Lapidaria Gallery, the Profane Gregorian Museum, the Raphael Rooms, the Chiaramonti Museum, the Pinacoteca, the Chapel of San Pedro Martir, the Sistine Chapel, the Borgia Apartment or the Hall of the Claroscuros. Each of these places admits the virtual visit, so, you have before you infinite spaces to enjoy from the screen.
7. Louvre Museum
It is one of the most important museums in the world and this rating is not in vain. The Louvre, next to the Musée d'Orsay, is one of the temples of art in Paris and around the world . There you will find one of the most important art selections in the world, including one of the star works, which as you know, is the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci.
But the Louvre lives not only from the Mona Lisa. There we also find the Venus de Milo, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, the Dying Slave, the Virgin of the Rocks, the Oath of the Horatii, The Abduction of the Sabine Women or Freedom Leading the People, to name just a few - very few - of the works that we can find in its rooms.
A good visit at the Louvre can last days, but we usually do it in one day. That is why it is interesting to be able to take advantage of the online gallery to discover details and reflect more carefully on the works. If you access the Works section of the Louvre, you will have at your disposal a wide catalog with Paintings, Egyptian Antiquities, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Sculptures, Oriental Antiquities, Objects of Art, Art of Islam or Graphic Arts.
And if you want to continue learning, here we provide you with the direct link to see the works of the Musée d'Orsay on the Internet. Because, although the Louvre is considered the star museum of the city (and the world), the Musée d'Orsay has no waste.
8. British Museum
Going to London and not going to the British Museum is a sin of the fat people . But it is even more sinful not to be able to go to the British capital and not visit the website of the British Museum. From this site you will have the opportunity to visit the different floors and see which works are exhibited there, of the huge variety of themes included.
This page is not a good place to see the works up close or make virtual visits, no. But it is a good guide to find everything that is on the different floors of the museum. So, in case you plan to go to London to visit the Museum , accessing here to guide you will help you get to this huge mausoleum of culture, duly illustrated.
Keep in mind, of course, that some of the pieces in the British Museum are connected to Google Arts & Culture , so if you are lucky, you can still enjoy a privileged view. This is the case with Kakiemon Elephants.
9. Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET)
Let's now travel to New York, to enter the rooms of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET). The wonderful collection of the Metropolitan Museum is also present on the web, so that if you connect here, you will have the opportunity to see the works up close.
You have, among other things (which is to say), more than 375,000 high-resolution images of works that are public and that therefore can be viewed, downloaded, shared and even modified without any restriction. This database, which you can filter by authors, cultures, type of objects, materials, geographical location, date or era and department, contains immense works by Singer, Van Gogh, Monet, Ducio, Vermeer, Degas, El Greco, Velázquez, Gauguin, Renoir, Moreau or Gentileschi. If you love art, here is a good place to enjoy.
10. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
And we finish this special of museums of the world to visit online with the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), also located in New York, but just one click away, if we visit it through the Internet. From the MoMA website we have the possibility of directly accessing the museum's collection, because of the 200,000 works it contains, 79,000 are available online . So you can see and admire them up close, as well as know in detail their technical sheets and other peculiarities.
Remember that there are works as beautiful as Van Gogh's Starry Night, Salvador Dalí's The Persistence of Memory, Pablo Picasso's The Young Ladies of Avignon, Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans or René Magritte's Lovers.