Friday, January 16, 2009

Prado Museum Closeups with Google Earth

garden of earthly delights by hieoronymous bosch 
 Art lovers all around the world will from now on be able to see fourteen of the Prado Museum's masterpieces in very high resolution with the launch of Google's Prado layer on Google Earth. From the Prado site:
The Prado Museum has become the first art gallery in the world to provide access to and navigation of its collection in Google Earth.  Using the advanced features of Google Earth art historians, students and tourists everywhere can zoom in on and explore the finer details of the artist's brushwork that can be easily missed at first glance.

The paintings have been photographed and contain as many as 14,000 million pixels (14 gigapixels). With this high level resolution you are able to see fine details such as the tiny bee on a flower in The Three Graces by Rubens, delicate tears on the faces of the figures in The Descent from the Cross by Roger van der Weyden and complex figures in The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch.
Of course, not everyone is happy about it. Contrary to the Prado Museum's Director Miguel Zugaza who is more than thrilled with the project, for example Jonathan Browne, an art historian from New York University, has defined the digital experience as "like looking at a corpse". Still, we necrophiliacs are happy.


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