It’s a common mid-afternoon scenario. You’re powering through your to-do list or in the middle of writing a report when suddenly you hit a brick wall. Your brain whimpers, “Help . . .”
For some, a latte or a cappuccino energizes them to complete the day’s home stretch.
But those who prefer a caffeine-free jolt of inspiration might look to a quick visit with a great master.
A fantasy? Not at all.
Google has introduced the Google Art Project to make art more accessible.
This creative resource contains more than 1,000 works of art from 17 of the world’s most famous museums. It’s free and you can access it right at your desk.
A virtual mini-vacation
If you’ve visited museums like The in New York, Tate Britain, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence or the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Google’s tool gives you a chance to renew your admiration of well-known masterpieces.
If you’ve not yet visited the museums currently included, the project will increase your appreciation of artistic genius. Project leader Amit Sood says that “the Google Art Project gives you a fun and unusual way to interact with art—and hopefully inspires you to visit the real thing.”
Masterpieces up close
The technology allows you to explore inside the museums’ galleries. Each museum has also selected one work of art that you can examine in extreme detail.
Sood explains, “Each of these images contains around 7 billion pixels — that’s around 1,000 times more detailed than your average digital camera—and a specially-built ‘microscope view’ uses Picasa to deliver these images at amazingly high resolution.”
For example, the Metropolitan chose Pieter Bruegel’s The Harvesters (1565). By zooming in tightly, you can focus on a scene the eye might ordinarily miss — a group of children playing. Sood says his Met contacts told him they are playing squail, which was a popular game of the period that involved “beating a goose with a stick on Shrove Tuesday.”
You can also create a collection of personal favorites and share it with family and friends. While the project can’t replicate the in-person museum experience, looking at art is a great way to get inspired and return to your work refreshed.
You can listen to Sood explain more about the project in a TED Talk here: