Art In Video Games: The Treasures of the Raccoon Police Department

Monday 18 March 2019

One of the most emblematic places in the Resident Evil universe is undoubtedly the Raccoon Police Department, which was the actual protagonist of Resident Evil 2. Not only was it a labyrinthine building with what looked like millions of locked doors, but it also kept some well-hidden secrets. The imposing multi-storey construction used to be a museum, which explains the several works of art that can be spotted in its rooms and corridors. In the recent remake of Resident Evil 2, we have the chance to see the revamped RPD building in all its glory and admire the paintings of classic art, the imposing statues and sculptures and the interesting collection of photographs that once were among the museum's exhibits but now are either used as decoration or are hidden away in storage rooms.

The main hall of the police station is a vast room, guarded by an imposing goddess statue just opposite the front door. The statue holds a big secret, as there is a hidden passage below it, leading to a secret room which, in turn, leads to the machinery room, the underground parking lot, the prison cells, and the private elevator of Chief Irons.

The secret passage is only accessible once Leon or Claire find and place three medallions on its pedestal. Said medallions are locked in three separate statues that are found in different areas of the building.

The lion medallion is locked in an elaborately made golden Lion statue that stands on the upper balcony of the main hall.

Equally artful is the bronze statue which holds the unicorn medallion, which depicts a Unicorn and can be found on a lone balcony just outside the Library.

The silver Maiden statue which has the last medallion stands behind a barred door which needs to be broken down with a detonator. It is the very impressive statue of a young woman. Next to it, we can also see the marble bust of a young man, in the Greco-roman style.

In the same secluded section, there is the bust of a soldier and a gargoyle just behind the Maiden statue and one more marble bust outside the bars.

There are two identical marble busts on the two sides of the balcony above the Main Hall.

In the Art Room, we find a big statue of the goddess Athena.

In the same room, there is an equally big statue that depicts a king. This statue is part of a puzzle, as it holds a key item, the red stone.

Several busts, small statues and ancient greek vases can be found scattered around in the Art Room as well.

We can spot more busts and statuettes if we look more closely.

There is also an ebony male statue, which is missing its head.

Two statuettes can be spotted in the secret office just below the goddess statue.

On one wall of the Main Hall, we can see the "Toilette of Venus" by François Boucher (1751).

In the Waiting Room, there is the "Study Head of a Woman" by Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1780) and the "Portrait Of The Painter" by John La Farge (1859) above the framed badge of Chief Irons.

In the same room, we can also see a painting that depicts dying flowers, which can be spotted on other walls of the station as well.

In the Art Room, there is "Virgin and Child with Four Angels" by Gerard David (c. 1510).

In the secret room below the goddess statue, we can see the "Child Holding a Doll" by John Downman (1780).

In the same room, there is a painting depicting a rocky landscape on the left and the "Titan's Goblet" by Thomas Cole (1833) on the right.

In Wesker's office, there is the same rocky landscape painting as well as the one picturing the dying flowers, another one depicting a vase with flowers that looks like the style that dutch painters of the 17th century would make, and "Woman In A Riding Habit" by Gustave Courbet (1856) on the far left. Wesker must be have been a serious art lover in spite of his evil temperament.

Courbet's painting and the flower vase one can also be seen in the corridor leading to the Dark Room. Nearby, we can spot the "Portrait of A Young Woman" by Lorenzo di Credi (c. 1490).

In the Library there are two huge paintings, one on the wall of the balcony that leads to the clocktower gallery and one on the wall just above the stairs. The first is a depiction of Justice in the form of a woman who holds a sword and points at the scales.

The second one seems to be inspired by certain paintings that show Saint Sebastian being tended by angels. We find this theme in several existing paintings, like this one by Anthony Van Dyck, this one by Pieter Thijs and this one by Gustave Doré. In the version of the RPD Library, we can barely spot Saint Sebastian at the bottom of the painting, as the scene is focused on the angel.

Both these paintings seem to carry a special symbolism connected to the story. Like the angel takes care of Saint Sebastian, equally first Ada tends Leon when he gets hurt, then Leon helps Ada when she is helpless and in the meantime, Claire is Sherry's guardian angel. And both Leon and Claire fight their way through all sorts of obstacles to make sure Justice is served.

There are a few rather ominous pieces of modern art by the stairs that lead to the second floor on the West wing.

Either the museum was planning to host modern art before its closure or Chief Irons was already starting to show off his twisted taste by decorating the walls with creepy paintings.

There are strange artistic symbols vaguely resembling rosettes on the wall of the Interrogation room in the basement of the East wing.

In the secret room, there is a vintage photo of two young Creole men in a rather intimate pose. It is a real-life photo dating back in the 1840s.

In the corridor leading to the Dark Room, as well as in the West wing's storage room, we can see the photo of an elderly woman who looks Creole as well and seems to be of a similar period of time.

In the same corridor, as well as in the Art Room, there is a photo of a girl in a white dress which also looks like it was taken around the same time.

The above photograph looks like a variation of one that we can see in the Baker family house in Resident Evil 7. The fact that all three photographs in the RPD building are or seem to be of Creoles, could be a nod to Resident Evil 7 which takes place in Louisiana, home of a big part of the Creole population.

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