Hunt Museum brings 500 year old painting to life through VR

  • Hunt Museum VR Exhibition (Pic Alan Place)
  • Hunt Museum VR Exhibition (Pic Alan Place)
At the Hunt Museum Limerick were TJ Hickey and Caoimhe Doherty, Gaelcholaiste Luimnigh. (Picture: Alan Place)

The Hunt Museum will host Ride a Flying Fish, a VR experience that explores a 500 year old painting by Hieronymus Bosch A Garden of Earthly Delights, from Thursday 21st October – just in time for mid-term break.

Not only does the VR exhibition give visitors access to a renowned painting that resides in the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain, the experience allows people to feel as if they are stepping inside the painting - a complex triptych oil painting on oak panel. Through the VR headset technology, visitors will Ride a Flying Fish through each panel of the Garden of Earthly Delights where they can focus on every little detail and analyse the dense painting through a different perspective.

Jill Cousins, Director & CEO Hunt Museum, said, “This is a new art experience for the Hunt Museum. The idea of moving around inside an artwork and feeling it to be a living thing gives new insights and joy. The Garden of Earthly Delights is such a complex painting but with VR technology you get to dive deep into it; focussing on every little detail and almost becoming part of the painting.”

“Our VR exhibition offers a new way of experiencing art. Hieronymus Bosch was a painter of his time, whose influence reverberates down the centuries. Given his pioneering imagination and innovative approach to new media, it seems very fitting that our first foray into VR explores the alternative reality presented by Bosch”, continued Ms Cousins.

The exhibition goes beyond VR to provide a completely immersive experience. A large scale printed version of The Garden of Earthly Delights will be available to view and the story of the painting and aspects of its symbolism explained.

The Hunt Museum owns a triptych from a century later, A Painted Epitaph dating circa 1611. A very high quality digital version of this triptych will also be on display. The digitisation reveals much that is difficult to see with the naked eye.

An experience not to be missed, this will be of particular interest to art lovers, historians, tourists, students as well as gamers and tech enthusiasts.

Tickets are €10 or just €12.50 to see the exhibition and entire Hunt Museum collection. Children go free. To book, visit

Ride a Flying Fish Exhibition runs from 21st October to 24th December 2021 at Hunt Museum, Limerick.

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