What a powerful experience, Annie Littlewolf. Thanks for sharing it! I've never had such an overpowering encounter with a work of art, but when I go to museums I love spending a long time in front of each painting, slowly taking them in. I'm no technophobe, but I think it's a little sad how people are becoming unable to see art without the filter of a screen and the urgency their phones demand.
This is a fictional short story, but it's based on years of witnessing visitors' behavior in galleries and museums. In that sense, as you noticed, the story is depressingly real.