by Jessica Gelt / © 2020, Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
If you have time on your hands and a deep need for cultural sustenance and succor , be it for yourself or your children, it’s time to get familiar with Google Arts & Culture.
This Google project launched nearly a decade ago, [but] the platform [has] expanded exponentially. It now features thousands of high-resolution images from more than 1,200 museums globally, including the National Gallery in London, the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid and the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
You can visit Google Arts & Culture as a website on your laptop or desktop, but the project is at its immersive best when engaged via the Google Arts & Culture app, which you can download for free on your smartphone or tablet. The great joy is its ability to transport you into the textural world of a piece of art. Zoom into brushstrokes, skate across oceans of color or tap on a screen and explore the universe contained in the blue-green pigment of a single painted eye.
Images are accompanied by explanatory text, and you can spend days diving into the collection of any given partner institution.
Here we’ve rounded up some of our favorite virtual exhibits on the platform:
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Take a virtual trip to the Netherlands and this museum, which offers one of 17 collections of Van Gogh paintings in the Google project. You can see amazingly detailed images of more than 160 artworks, including sunflowers, self-portraits and his famous The Bedroom. You also can click into the story, “Which Books Did Vincent Van Gogh Read?” Scroll through Van Gogh paintings inspired by the literature he favored, including The Vicarage at Nuenen, which captures the moody, windswept home where Van Gogh’s parents lived and where the young painter first grew to love the moralistic tales of Charles Dickens.
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