Time-suck alert: WARNING!!!! Reading this post may cause you to spend several extra hours surfing the web….but your soul will be refreshed! and PS…pictures are clickable to view larger.
The U.S. National Gallery of Art just launched NGA Images, an online resource to view and USE portions of their collections. Here is how they describe it:
NGA Images is a repository of digital images of the collections of the National Gallery of Art. On this website you can search, browse, share, and download images. A standards-based reproduction guide and a help section provide advice for both novices and experts. More than 20,000 open access digital images up to 3000 pixels each are available free of charge for download and use. NGA Images is designed to facilitate learning, enrichment, enjoyment, and exploration.
One of the most popular paintings in the collection is Leonardo da Vinci’s Ginevra de Benci. The painting is relatively small, even with the frame it is smaller than your typical college-dorm poster. And the detail is phenomenal…you can see individual hairs on her forehead. Just imagine, he and this young woman lived over 500 years ago and there she is, still alive for us today in this portrait!
And one of my favorites is Gaugin’s Fatata te Miti. When I was an undergraduate at Georgetown University, I would every now and then take my books and hop on an “even 30’s” (32-34-36) bus line which ran from Wisconsin Avenue, NW in Georgetown down Pennsylvania Avenue, past the White House (the street was open to cars then) and down to the National Gallery, and sit in one or a couple of the galleries to do my homework. I could look up between paragraphs or assignments and just absorb all that incredible art!
At least as astonishing as NGA Images is GoogleArt or, more accurately, The Art Project powered by Google. All I can say is HOLY COW! WOW!!!!!!!!!!! This resource lets you explore museums around the world and you can zoom in so close, the photography is so phenomenal, you can see brushstrokes and small cracks in the paint!!!!!! I mean, you can see details that you’d need to be standing 6 inches away in real life to be able to see that well (and I expect in many of the museums you’re not allowed that close!).
Just SOME of the museums on GoogleArt are
- The Museum of Modern Art (New York City),
- The Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam)
- The National Gallery (London)
- The Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam)
- The Versailles Museum (Versailles)
- The Uffizi Gallery (Florence)
- The Hermitage (St. Petersburg)
I mean you’d need to win a BIG lottery to be able to travel to just these museums let alone all of them. And to be utterly greedy, I hope that as more and more of the repositories of our world heritage bring their collections online, they will become a part of this phenomenal resource. And the Art Project not only lets you see the artwork, but the museum spaces, too…. oh sigh drool dream! It’s like you are standing in the rooms…..sigh, drool, dream!
In this image captured from the site (and gosh I hope that is OK to have done!) you see Les Vessenots à Auvers by Van Gogh.
If you go here, to the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Spain, look in the lower right for a slider bar that allows you to zoom in. You can SEE THE BRUSHSTROKES and daubs of paint….
Have I said recently how much I love the internet? WOW. And remember…not my fault if you forget to pick up the kids after school or make supper <GRIN> HAVE FUN surfing the web!