Now they’ve launched their newest initiative: the Google Art Project, bringing some of the world’s most revered artwork to the Internetted masses.
Teaming up with museums such as, oh, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Palace of Versailles, and the National Gallery in London (among others), the project uses a Street View–like interface to navigate through museum galleries around the world. The project also allows ultra-close-up, high-resolution inspection of many of the most famous pieces—something that’d likely set off the motion-sensor alarm during an actual museum visit.
Here’s Julian Raby, director of the Freer:
The giga-pixel experience brings us very close to the essence of the artist through detail that simply can’t be seen in the gallery itself. … Far from eliminating the necessity of seeing artworks in person, Art Project deepens our desire to go in search of the real thing.
That’s what they think. Between this, Google Earth, and Grocery Gateway, I’m never leaving my house again.