Louvre Creates Jay-Z and Beyoncé–Themed Tour Following Viral Music Video

The Louvre in Paris is launching a new Jay-Z and Beyoncé–themed art tour, following the success of the power couple’s newly released music video “Apeshit,” which was filmed in the museum. The hit song featured some of the Louvre’s most iconic works as backdrops, including Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, Théodore Gericault’s The Raft of the Medusa, Jacques-Louis David’s Portrait of Madame Récamier, and Marie-Guillemine Benoist’s Portrait d’une Négresse.

With more than fifty-nine million views on YouTube, the video is an ode to black empowerment and the success of the major R&B stars. It is also a commentary on the Western art historcal canon and a statement about the importance of including people of color in major institutions such as the Louvre. The song is one of nine on the surprise joint album Everything Is Love, which dropped on June 16.

According to Elias Leight, a Rolling Stone reporter, “Much of the potency of the ‘Apeshit’ video comes from the contrasts drawn between the ‘white’ art on the walls and the black women on the gallery floors. In front of [Jacques-Louis David’s] The Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon and the Coronation of Empress Joséphine, a court scene of relentless white extravagance, Beyoncé and eight black dancers hold hands and begin to dance. It takes just a few synchronized sashays to upstage David’s massive painting, replacing an ornate symbol of white authority with a celebration of black bodies in motion.”

The tour will lead visitors to the Louvre to the seventeen paintings and sculptures glimpsed in the video. Jean-Luc Martinez, director of the institution, told AFP that the tour will help make the museum’s collection “more readable” to a global public.