Google Goes to the Prado

Via {feuilleton}: Google has teamed with the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain, to bring ultra high resolution photographs of some of the most famous works held by the museum to users of Google Earth. Users will be able to examine the works up close and personal, and at a degree that wouldn’t even have been available to the artist. A press release from the Prado notes that

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).

So far, only 14 works have been added to Google Earth, but more are on the way. Among them are some of the most famous and ground-breaking works of art of all time, such as Velasquez’s Las Meninas, Goya’s The Third of May, and Bosch’s hallucinatory Garden of Earthly Delights.

To view the works, download Google Earth, “Fly to” the Museo del Prado, and click on the museum. The paintings will pop up. Selecting one and viewing it in ultra high resolution allows you to zoom in to your heart’s content. This becomes an endless source of entertainment with a painting like Bosch’s, which is so full of detail that some things are easy to miss. Garden of Earthly Delights

I never noticed, for example, that this bird was watching me so intently:

Bird in the Garden

This is an amazing resource. Maybe one day we’ll do something similar with Blake’s art.

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Blake at the Tate

Via {feuilleton}: According to an article in The Guardian, the Tate Britain (London) will be recreating Blake’s 1809 exhibition (his only individual show, which was held in Golden Square, Soho) for a retrospective beginning next April. The show was a large failure for the artist, who was hurt by the negative publicity it received. The only reviewer of the show had these very kind words to share with his audience, the readers of the Examiner:

Blotted and blurred and very badly drawn…The poor man fancies himself a great master, and has painted a few wretched pictures.

The Tate will be exhibiting up to 10 of the 16 original works, 11 of which survive, and will be reprinting Blake’s Descriptive Catalogue (which the Examiner referred to as “A farrago of nonsense, unintelligibleness, and egregious vanity, the wild effusions of a distempered brain”). Check out the full article here.

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