'Tactile Tour' art exhibition for blind and visually impaired comes to Brussels

'Tactile Tour' art exhibition for blind and visually impaired comes to Brussels
Visitors will be able to feel the artworks of Pieter Brueghel and Leonardo da Vinci. Credit: Valentin Haüy

The Belgian non-profit organisation, Brailleliga, has launched the French ‘Tactile Tour’ exhibition in Brussels for individuals with visual impairments.

Running until 18 November, the visually impaired can touch and listen their way through 12 reproductions of paintings and tapestries, all created as 3D prints.

The brainchild of Belgian Remy Closset, his ‘Tactile Tour’ provides an accurate physical representation of the paintings and tapestries.

According to Brailleliga, the exhibition will have audio descriptions of the art works and physical models that allow blind and visually impaired individuals to “safely touch every element of the work due to intricate shadows and textures”.

Closset, who is visually impaired himself, is a retired architect and art lover. He also serves on the board of the French association Valentin Haüy, an umbrella organisation for associations advocating for employment for people with visual impairments.

The ‘Tactile Tour’ collection, which has already toured France, contains works from various periods in art history.

Visually impaired individuals can enjoy works from the likes of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) of the Florentine Republic during the Italian Renaissance, French author Jules Verne (1828-1905), and Brabant-based painter Pieter Brueghel the Elder (c. 1525-1530-1569).

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During the exhibition’s opening, Brailleliga donated a reproduction of ‘The Fall of Icarus’ by Pieter Brueghel the Elder to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium.

Brailleliga states this is in recognition of more than "20 years of collaboration to offer inclusive visits to blind and visually impaired individuals."

The exhibition ensures that each of the twelve relief works comes with an audio description in both Dutch and French.

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