The Hermitage © Shutterstock

The Hermitage Right in Your Hand
The COVID-19 pandemic has put more distance between people, while making borders even clearer than before. But there are still many different ways we can enjoy art and culture. You can still enrich your life amid social distancing. You can visit the iconic Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, right on your computer or smartphone, thanks to a five-hour, one-take cinematic tour shot on an iPhone. Here are some other art museums and concert venues that are offering virtual tours and free performances.
There have long been indications that you could still enjoy art and culture of other countries without leaving your place. Even while more and more people started enjoying life in virtual reality, visual and performing arts seemed to be domains outside that realm. But as people were being forced to stay inside amid the pandemic, they started craving for opportunities to explore art from home. Art and performances started to become available online. The State Hermitage Museum, or simply the Hermitage, in the Russian cultural capital of St. Petersburg recently came back into the spotlight thanks to its online content.
예르미타시미술관 © Shutterstock

The Hermitage © Shutterstock

예르미타시미술관 건물 중 하나인 멘시코브 궁전의 내부 © Shutterstock

Inside the Menshikov Palace, one of the buildings comprising the Hermitage © Shutterstock

The Hermitage, famous for its Winter Palace, became the state museum following the Russian Revolution of 1917, as major palaces and imperial residence became state properties. Long queues are typically formed well before the museum even opens, and it attracts over 3 million visitors annually as one of St. Petersburg’s top landmarks. Five buildings, including the Winter Palace, are connected, making it one of the largest art museums in the world. Its collections feature some 3 million works covering all genres and eras. Pieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Henri Matisse, Vincent van Gogh and Pablo Picasso are must-see. You could spend a whole week and it probably won’t be enough. So you may wonder how a museum as large as the Hermitage is actually perfect for a virtual tour.
예르미타시미술관 내부 © Shutterstock

예르미타시미술관 내부 © Shutterstock

Inside the Hermitage © Shutterstock

The Hermitage has shuttered its doors following the COVID-19 outbreak, but the virtual doors are as wide open as ever. And you don’t need to wait in a line or purchase a ticket for that. The museum is just a few clicks away. Check out ‘Crouching Boy’ by Michelangelo on the second floor at the Winter Palace (Room 230), and Rembrandt’s works (Rooms 253 and 254) will help you follow his life story.
예르미타시미술관 가상 투어

Virtual tour of the Hermitage

예르미타시미술관 가상 투어, 렘브란트의 방

Virtual tour of the Hermitage, Rembrandt’s room

The beautiful Hermitage and 588 pieces from its collections can be enjoyed online. In March, Apple filmed the museum on an iPhone and uploaded the one-take video on YouTube, also featuring dance and music performances. This clip, running for five hours, 19 minutes and 28 seconds, is a form of art in itself. You get the wide views and close-ups of the artworks, and it’ll almost feel as if you’re there in person.

• Virtual Tour of the Hermitage
• The One-Take Journey Through the Hermitage
예르미타시미술관 가상 투어, 미켈란젤로의 ‘웅크린 소년’

Virtual tour of the Hermitage, ‘Crouching Boy’ by Michelangelo

아이폰 11프로 맥스로 촬영한 영상 ‘예르미타주’ 공식 트레일러, 유튜브 영상 캡쳐

Screen grab of the YouTube trailer for ‘Hermitage,’ shot on iPhone 11 Pro Max

You Can Also Enjoy Art Here
All it takes is a beautiful painting or a brilliant piece of music, and your day will be so much fuller and richer. There are art museums and concert halls that were offering virtual tours before and have since added new features and begun streaming performances for free. Here are our four recommendations.
메트로폴리탄 오페라 홈페이지

The Metropolitan Opera’s Website

1. The Metropolitan Opera, New York
‘Nightly Opera Streams’ by the Metropolitan Opera offer one free opera per day. On its website, these operas, featuring the world-renowned performers, directors and producers, are available for a 23-hour window, from 7:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. EDT.
바티칸박물관 홈페이지

The Vatican Museums’ Website

2. Vatican Museums, Rome
The Vatican Museums, whose collections include Michelangelo’s ‘Sistine Chapel,’ provides a virtual tour. In addition to the chapel, Pio Clementino Museum and seven other museums can be viewed from all angles. If you have a VR device, the arched ceiling and elaborate frescos will feel even more real.
국립극장 유튜브 채널

YouTube channel for the National Theater of Korea

3. National Theater of Korea, Seoul
‘Hyangyeon’ and ‘Mukhyang,’ two signature performances by the National Dance Company of Korea always staged before sellout crowds, can now be enjoyed online. The National Theater of Korea (NTOK), which oversees the National Dance Company, the National Orchestra of Korea (NOK) and the National Changgeuk Company, has started streaming these shows. They’re available on NTOK’s YouTube channel or on Naver TV. From May 1 to 8, the National Orchestra’s 2019 performance, ‘Yang Bangean with NOK-Into the Light’ will be streamed.
베를린 필하모닉 오케스트라의 디지털 콘서트 홀 홈페이지

Digital Concert Hall for the Berliner Philharmoniker

4. Berliner Philharmoniker, Berlin
This is the perfect time to expand your interest in classical music. The Berliner Philharmoniker has lifted its paywall for a month. Sign up at the orchestra’s Digital Concert Hall and redeem your voucher. For 30 days, you’ll be able to enjoy some 600 concerts by the Berliner Philharmoniker from the past 10 years.
May 2020 Editor:Kim Hyewon

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