Google Art Project means art lovers all over the world can examine famous paintings right down to the brush strokes without leaving home.
Combined with photographs taken at a gigapixel resolution, from today Google will be using its StreetView technology to present famous works of art from 17 of the world’s leading museums.
In a style similar to Google StreetView, viewers can wander around rooms at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum or the National Gallery in London. In addition to getting the 360 degree tour, you can even get the proper up close and personal viewing experience by zooming in on the individual artworks. With pictures blown up to between 7 and 14 billion pixels, there is an impressive level of detail. Works from 486 international artists has been included, such as Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’ and Byzantine iconography.
Only some of the paintings will be available for viewing at this scale, as copyright rules mean others will be blurred out. Still, there are 1,061 paintings to choose from, with 17 pieces presented at an extra-high 7,000 mega pixel resolution. At this level of enlargement the viewing experience will go beyond what is possible in real life; every colour variation and brush flick will be visible, as well as the cracks that have formed on these old classics.
Adding a new level of interaction to the museum experience, viewers are encouraged to leave comments on the paintings. You can also build your own collection of specific views and share it with others. To take part go to www.googleartproject.com