Google Art Project is like StreetView for culture vultures
Ever wanted to zoom in so far on Google Street View that you can see through the window of no.47 and see that cute looking neighbour of yours walking around in her smalls?
No, us neither - that'd be perverse, but we have often considered just how cool it would be to take a virtual butchers around some of the world's most interesting buildings.
And luckily, someone over in the labs at Mountain View must have been thinking the same thing, as Google has now gone live with Google Art Project - which is "a unique collaboration with some of the world’s most acclaimed art museums to enable people to discover and view more than a thousand artworks online in extraordinary detail".
What Art Project allows you to do is to browse around 17 of the world's top art galleries and museums, including the National Gallery and Tate Britain here in the UK and get up close and personal with the exhibits.
Using StreetView style navigation you can look at featured artworks at a high resolution, using the custom viewer to zoom into paintings.
You're also given an info panel which lets you read more about a piece, find more work by that artist, or watch related YouTube videos. You can also create your own collection, saving your favourites of the 1000+ artworks on display.
Google Art Project doesn't provide a complete look at the galleries of the 17 buildings (much is blurred) but there's more than enough on show to make this a substantial contribution.
It's available now over at GoogleArtProject.com, and the full list of places included is:
Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin - Germany; Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian, Washington DC - USA; The Frick Collection, NYC - USA; Gemäldegalerie, Berlin - Germany; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC - USA; MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art, NYC - USA; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid - Spain; Museo Thyssen - Bornemisza, Madrid - Spain; Museum Kampa, Prague - Czech Republic; The National Gallery, London - UK; Palace of Versailles - France; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam - The Netherlands; The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg - Russia; State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow - Russia; Tate Britain, London - UK; Uffizi Gallery, Florence - Italy; Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam - The Netherlands.