Posted: 21 May 2013 01:00 AM PDT
Every day on the Art Project Google+ page we post a snippet of information about a painting, an artist or a talk—and every day, at least one of our 4 million followers has something to say in response. We're constantly delighted by how the appetite for art online is growing and today we have a veritable feast in store with a swathe of fresh artworks, gigapixel paintings and museums on Street View.
New artworks from the famous to the unusual
Mario Testino is a world-famous photographer, known for his work in the fashion industry. Fewer people are aware of his photographs focusing on the culture of his native Peru. A new body of photographs called "Alta Moda" (high fashion), featuring Andean people in traditional and festive dress, is currently on display in Testino's cultural institution, MATE. And for those of you not lucky enough to visit Lima, you can now see this collection of 27 photos online on the Google Art Project.
In total, we have more than 1,500 new high-resolution artworks including masterpieces such as Monet's "Waterlilies," Rembrandt's "Portrait of a Man in a Broad-Brimmed Hat" and Johannes Vermeer's "The Geographer" (meaning Art Project now houses 15 of his 34 total works, all contributed by different museums). However, the diversity goes well beyond paintings; from ancestral relics used to worship the dead to an ancient Jinsha gold mask from China thought to have been worn by sorcerers. Often the old contrasts with the new, with inscribed Arabic gemstones existing alongside contemporary glass structures from Germany as you can see in this "Compare" image below.
Zoom in to "gigapixel" paintings
Gigapixel paintings—very high-resolution works which enable you to zoom in at brushstroke level—have long been at the heart of the Art Project. They're a great example of the magic that can happen when technology meets art—and today we have 16 new ones to add, ranging from famous pieces like "The Scream" by Edvard Munch to those chosen by public vote such as "Whitewashing the Old House" by L.A. Ring.
The beauty of gigapixels is their ability to surprise. Look at the painting "Fra Stalheim" by Johan Christian Dahl, shown in full on the left below. You'll see a beautiful landscape. Zoom in, however, and you discover scenes within a scene—a village with smoking chimneys, a woman tending to her child, and cows grazing on the hillside. Details that can't always be fully appreciated by the naked eye are brought to life online.
Immerse yourself in Street View
Through Street View and the Google Art Project, many museums have opened their galleries to the world the past few years, and today we're launching 20 more. For example, Fondation Beyeler Museum in Switzerland houses a collection of seven Mark Rothko paintings. Now anyone in the world can virtually explore the collection.
Of course art collections are not exclusively found in museums—we're delighted to have our first monastery on Street View in the Art Project. The Monastery of St. John the Theologian on the Greek island of Patmos was founded in 1088 and is a World Heritage Site. In addition to their 116 contributed artworks, you can also explore the architectural splendors of this ancient building.
Jump inside a whole range of beautiful buildings and corridors here by clicking on the orange pegman where it appears.
In a week that celebrates International Museum Day, we're glad to be able to showcase some of the great treasures held by museums and cultural institutions the world over. There are so many benefits to bringing more content online, be it discovering a new style of art or artist, creating your own gallery, stumbling across a hidden detail of a painting you thought you knew or simply being inspired by something beautiful. With more than 40,000 total works and 250+ cultural organisations around the globe, we hope the experience will be more enriching than ever.
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