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Paris Museums Enlist Instagrammers to Recreate Classic French Artworks

Kirstin Fawcett
Parallèles par Paris Musées
Parallèles par Paris Musées / Parallèles par Paris Musées

Art is for everyone—but not everyone enjoys going to an art museum. That’s why Paris's municipal museums, Paris Musées, recently created a new web platform to make their vast assortment of paintings, sculptures, and photographs digitally accessible to the public. 

In honor of the site’s launch, Paris Musées brainstormed an art project of their own, called Parallels. They collaborated with 10 well-known Instagram personalities to recreate famous works from their collections using the popular social media platform. Their goal? To make the artworks a little more accessible, a little more modern, and—dare we say it—a little more fun for contemporary audiences. 

“Whether a photographer, fashion blogger, or a comedy YouTuber, each Instagrammer drew on material from his or her own experiences to express his or her affinity for the original work or simply to reinterpret it with a new twist,” the museum explained in a release.

The final result? A series of fresh, modern takes on paintings and photographs by artists including Charles Nègre, François Boucher, and Amedeo Modigliani. The Instagram photos, which went on display yesterday, will be exhibited in the city’s Gare Saint-Lazare rail station through July 31, 2016, and travelers can suggest their own remakes of works by posting them on the social platform with the #ParallelesParisMusées hashtag.

Not traveling to Paris anytime soon? You can view the works below.

Ary Scheffer (1795-1858). Le Giaour. Huile sur toile, 1832. D'après "Le Giaour" de Lord Byron. Paris, musée de la Vie romantique. © Musée de la Vie Romantique / Roger-Viollet

François Boucher (1703-1770). Portrait présumé de Marie-Emilie Baudouin, fille du peintre. Huile sur toile, entre 1758 et 1760. Paris, musée Cognacq- Jay. © Musée Cognacq-Jay / Roger-Viollet

Louis Antoine Léon Riesener (1808-1878). Théophile Gautier (1811-1871). Pastel, 1850. Paris, maison de Balzac. © Maison de Balzac / Roger- Viollet

Charles Nègre (1820 – 1880). Les ramoneurs en marche, Paris. Photographie, entre 1851 et 1852. Paris, musée Carnavalet. © Charles Nègre / Musée Carnavalet / Roger-Viollet

Georges Clairin (1843-1919). Portrait de Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923). Peinture à l’huile, 1876. Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, Petit Palais. © Petit Palais / Roger-Viollet

Marcel Bernard (1902 - 1991). Jean Moulin aux Arceaux près de la promenade du Peyrou à Montpellier. Photographie, Février 1940. © Legs. Antoinette Sasse, Musée du Général Leclerc/Musée Jean Moulin

Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920). Femme aux yeux bleus. Huile sur toile, vers 1918. Paris, musée d'Art moderne. © Musée d'Art Moderne / RogerViollet

Animal monstrueux gardien de tombe 椆ऽْ. Bois. Paris, musée Cernuschi. © E. Emo et Cl.Tachdjian / Musée Cernuschi / Roger-Viollet

Antoine BOURDELLE (1861-1929). Isadora. Plume et encre de Chine, aquarelle sur papier vélin, 1909-1929. Paris, musée Bourdelle. © Musée Bourdelle / Roger-Viollet

Léon Bonnat (1833-1922). Portrait de Victor Hugo. Huile sur toile, 1879. Paris, Maison de Victor Hugo. © Maisons de Victor Hugo / Roger-Viollet

All images courtesy of Parallèles par Paris Musées