The Google Art Project is like their street view on maps, but instead of looking at buildings and houses on deadend streets, you can now look at paintings from seventeen museums and galleries across the world — among them, the Uffizi, the NY Met, the MOMA, the Van Gogh Museum, the National Gallery of London, the Tate and Versailles, etc. All for free!
This is absolutely amazing. You can now virtually tour seventeen of the world’s greatest museums for free and without every leaving your couch. Think about that for a moment. Whether you feel like this is good or bad (I say good because not everyone can afford a trip to Europe or museum admission), something like this was only dreamed of a decade ago.
And, Google didn’t stop there. When you see a painting you like, you can view a hi-res scan of it (7 billion pixels, natch) up close. “Far from eliminating the necessity of seeing artworks in person, Art Project deepens our desire to go in search of the real thing,” said Julian Raby, director of the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art, in a statement.