Museum Quai d'Orsay - Taststation

“The Painter’s Worshop” Gustave Courbet – Musée d’Orsay – Paris

The tactile exploration of the painting « L’Atelier du peintre » is part of a sensory multimodal experience.  It took place during the restoration of the masterpiece in 2016-17, inside the museum itself and is now touring.

The idea is that while the painting was restored visitors were able to see the work in progress through a giant window. To make the experience more emotional we co-created a sensory experience allowing to feel the different elements making up the painting.  We specifically developed the tactile exploration of Courbet monumental Oil on Canvas. We also developed the audio description that comes along.

We chose to focus the tactile interpretation on the painting’s main characters: the painter surrounded by a naked model and a child, and then two groups on each side of the painter’s easel. The use of different layers of relief help to feature the different groups.

Gustave Courbet pants ‘stripes, a specific detail that enlightens  fashion taste of the end of the 19th century are the underlined on the audio description and are emphasized on its tactile interpretation. As a nod to the visitor and to better render that prolific cultural era, Jeanne Duval’s silhouette, Baudelaire mistress at that time, -which was painted on a first version then erased on poet’s demand- is very lightly featured in the tactile version.

As a multimodal experience, the painting’s exploration comes along with a digital app that allows to zoom on the painting and get detailed explanations. Finally materials were displayed were displayed to give a sense of the touchy feeling of the painting.

An immersion into this fabulous artistic era.



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