Google just launched a new website, the Google Art Project, where you can take virtual 360 degree tours of major museums around the world — seventeen of them so far. As you work your way around the galleries, you can click on a painting for a close-up view and get detailed information about that painting. Best of all, each museum has one painting of their choice that can be examined in astonishing detail because Google photographed it with a super-high resolution gigapixel camera.
I found the site doesn't work well with Safari but does okay with Chrome and Firefox browsers; and I don't know about Internet Explorer.
Here's a list of the super-high resolution photographs on the site:
- MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art / The Starry Night, Vincent van Gogh
- Uffizi Gallery / The Birth of Venus, Sandro Botticelli
- Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian / The Princess from the Land of Porcelain, James McNeill Whistler
- Museo Thyssen - Bornemisza / Young Knight in a Landscape, Vittore Carpaccio
- Museum Kampa / The Cathedral, František Kupka
- Rijksmuseum / Night Watch, Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
- Van Gogh Museum / The bedroom, Vincent van Gogh
- Alte Nationalgalerie / In the Conservatory, Edouard Manet
- Palace of Versailles / Marie-Antoinette de Lorraine-Habsbourg, Queen of France, and her children , Louise Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun
- National Gallery / The Ambassadors, Hans Holbein the Younger
- The Frick Collection / St. Francis in the Desert, Giovanni Bellini
- Gemäldegalerie / The Merchant Georg Gisze, Hans Holbein the Younger
- Museo Reina Sofia / The Bottle of Anís del Mono, Juan Gris
- The State Tretyakov Gallery / The Apparition of Christ to the People (The Apparition of the Messiah), Aleksander Ivanov
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art / The Harvesters, Pieter Bruegel the Elder
- The State Hermitage Museum / Return of the Prodigal Son, Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn
- Tate Britain / No Woman, No Cry, Chris Ofili
See if you can identify which paintings these details are taken from.