Google Art Project

This week saw the launch of the Google Art Project.

Google has created an online repository of works of art from a number of galleries around the world. The interface allows you virtually walk through the galleries and to examine the artwork. The level of zoom on the interface is remarkable, and allows you to see the brushstrokes.

Google has captured the images using the same technology as used for Google StreetView. In some images of the museums, you can see the shadow of the camera on the wall.

The interface is pretty intuitive, although the gallery list box on the front page seems a bit flakey and does not allow you to scroll through all the galleries currently in the project. On one occasion I mis-clicked whilst touring the Rijkmuseum in Amsterdam I suddenly found myself standing outside in the street. Fortunately there were no trams coming.

The following galleries are currently included in the project:

  • Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin – Germany
  • Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian, Washington DC – USA
  • The Frick Collection, NYC – USA
  • Gemäldegalerie, Berlin – Germany
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC – USA
  • MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art, NYC – USA
  • Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid – Spain
  • Museo Thyssen – Bornemisza, Madrid – Spain
  • Museum Kampa, Prague – Czech Republic
  • National Gallery, London – UK
  • Palace of Versailles – France
  • Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam – The Netherlands
  • The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg – Russia
  • State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow – Russia
  • Tate Britain, London – UK
  • Uffizi Gallery, Florence – Italy
  • Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam – The Netherlands

Only the art works annotated with a small ‘plus’ sign may be viewed at high resolution.

These images are from ‘The Shipwreck” by Turner at the Tate Britain. You can see the zoom control box at lower right.

"The Shipwreck" Turner

"The Shipwreck" Turner Detail

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