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Gigapixel Photos of Famous Artworks Allow Viewers to Examine Pieces at Brushstroke Level

the starry night

The Starry Night 1889 by Vincent van Gogh

It’s not everyday you come across a Van Gogh original hanging on someone’s living room wall. Of course countless replicas have already been made so that us regular people can still appreciate the creations of famous artists, but Google has so kindly offered a better, high-resolution alternative.

the starry night closeup

The Starry Night 1889 by Vincent van Gogh

Art fanatics, behold the Google Art Project. It is a collaboration with museums from 40 countries to contribute more than 40,000 high-resolution images of some of the most famous art pieces around, from sculptures to oil paintings, to furniture.

the birth of venus artwork

The birth of Venus 1483-1485 by Sandro Botticelli

Google has worked with several art museums including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, Palace of Versailles and The Freer Gallery of Art Smithsonian among others, to create a one-of-a-kind source of not just high-resolution images of famous artworks, but more than thousands of other images as well. Also included in the project are 360-degree tours in known galleries in an indoor ‘Google Street View’ type of technology.

the birth of venus close up

The birth of Venus 1483-1485 by Sandro Botticelli

If that wasn’t exciting enough, some pieces are viewable in ‘gigapixel’ format. Each partner museum chose one artwork to be photographed in extraordinary detail, around 7 billion pixels. This gives viewers an unparalleled view of their favorite works at the click of a mouse. Imagine being able to look at Van Gogh’s The Starry Night and being able to pick up on the artist’s individual brushstrokes. If The Starry Night isn’t to your liking, you can choose from over 150 of Van Gogh’s other featured artworks.

poppy field monet

Poppy Field 1873 by Claude Monet

This terrific online resource makes it easy for those who cannot readily travel to various museums just to catch a glimpse of these masterpieces. Even if you were face to face with Monet’s Poppy Field, chances are you wouldn’t be able to hone in on the minute details due to safety barriers in museum exhibits.

poppy field close up

Poppy Field 1873 by Claude Monet

Amit Sood, Head of Art Project, has this to say,

‘This initiative started as a ‘20% project’ by a group of Googlers passionate about making art more accessible online. Together with our museum partners around the world we have created what we hope will be a fascinating resource for art-lovers, students and casual museum goers alike – inspiring them to one day visit the real thing.”

the birth of venus artwork

The birth of Venus 1483-1485 by Sandro Botticelli

the birth of venus close up

The birth of Venus 1483-1485 by Sandro Botticelli

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Patricia Ramos the author

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.

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