News Detail

Paintings in Relief that the Blind Can See Through Touch

MADRID - “Touching the Prado,” designed to give the blind or those with limited sight an opportunity to create a mental image of a painting by feeling it. The show, occupies a side passage of the museum, near a room that contains an original of another work copied for the blind: a version of the Mona Lisa by a pupil of Leonardo da Vinci. Altogether, six 3-D copies are on display, all of them rendering famous works in the Prado. They include Goya’s “The Parasol”; a still life by van der Hamen; “Apollo in the Forge of Vulcan” by Velázquez; and “Noli Me Tangere,” Correggio’s painting of Christ meeting Mary Magdalene.

The exhibition is one of the most sophisticated yet in efforts to unlock the beauty of the visual arts for those unable to see them. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the National Gallery in London are among several museums that organize activities for blind visitors, including special guided tours, drawing classes, and “touch” workshops, in which blind people can feel sculptures. The Louvre in Paris also has a Tactile Gallery that contains copies of some of its sculptures.