A new app will let you dive headlong into the enigma that is the Mona Lisa. Art Plunge is a virtual reality gallery that allows users to get an interior view of famous works of art, as Co.Design reports, seemingly going "inside" the frame.
Art Plunge—currently available in beta versions for Gear VR, Google Daydream, and Google Cardboard—essentially extends the frame of famous paintings to show what the scene would look like if you were actually in the room with the painter. Created by Swedish designers/developers Martin Eklund and Martin Christensen, the app adds sound and visuals so that you can peer out windows, hear the chirping of birds outside, and see the flowing river in the background.
Right now, you can choose to enter one of two paintings that appear to hang on a gallery wall: Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and Johannes Vermeer’s Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window. (The third, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel fresco The Creation of Adam, isn’t yet ready for viewing.)
The app’s creators did take some artistic license in expanding the classic paintings, but the scenes aren’t entirely new. The frames are stitched together from other paintings in the selected artist's oeuvre, to make it a realistic approximation of what an extended version of the original painting might have looked like. The environment around Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window, for instance, uses another Vermeer scene, View of Delft, as the scene outside the window.
According to Co.Design, the full app will be available sometime this summer.