17 museums, 9 countries, 486 artists
This great new resource, the Google Art Project, launched yesterday, captures work from 17 museums, 9 countries, 385 gallery rooms, 1,000 high-resolution artworks (7 to 14 billion pixels), and 486 artists.
Google have used similar software to zoom in on images as they have on maps, and certainly it pays off. The Google Maps ‘Street view’ has also been adopted to enable you to wander around the rooms of world-famous galleries such as ‘Tate Britain‘, the ‘Van Gogh Museum‘ and New York’s ‘Met’. The new project was reviewed on the Telegraph website which includes a video review. You can also create personal collections of the available artwork, such as: http://goo.gl/4GM6d for the creation of catalogues. However, a word of caution: only a small proportion of works from each collection is available in high-resolution. Several world class galleries are not involved in this project, such as the Prado, and hence some world class art is missing: take Las Meninas by Velasquez for example. Overall though, I favour this democratization of art, as long as it doesn’t mean people stop visiting national collections of art. Google may bring a sample of art works to us, and we may be able to zoom in to a level that the naked eye in front of the painting we cannot do, but still there is nothing like standing in front of an exquisite painting and absorbing its glory.