Monday, February 7, 2011

google art project

Screen shot inside the Palace of Versailles. Courtesy of Google's Art Project.

If you haven't yet spent some time playing with Art Project, Google's latest, endeavor, I would highly recommend heading over there right now to see for yourself just what all the fuss is about. A unique collaboration with some of the world's best museums, Art Project contains thousands of high-resolution images of works, allowing people to view them in absolutely stunning detail. You can browse through museums using Google's Street View technology, or simply pick a work from a drop-down list of options given for each institution. For example, let's say you'd like to take a closer look at Officer and Laughing Girl by Johannes Vermeer, on display at The Frick Collection.

Even if you live on the other side of the world, Art Project allows you to not only view the painting, but to zoom in to see details as well, such as this close-up of the map in the painting's background. Or, say you'd like to study Vincent Van Gogh's painting technique in Starry Night, on display at The Museum of Modern Art.

The above images show (from top to bottom) the entire work, a 50% zoom in to the top right corner of the painting, and finally, an extremely high resolution up-close look at one small section of the work. Pretty unbelievable, right? Google's Art Project not only allows you to get up close to these works, but it does so to a degree that would be impossible even if you were to visit the museum in person. I can't wait to see more works from more museums as they're added to this site.

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