Tour world’s best museums using Google Art Project

Van Gogh's "Starry Night", and not even zoomed in all the wayFeel like visiting Versailles, the Hermitage or the Uffizi Gallery but can’t afford the time off and a few thousand dollars for transportation, lodging and admission? Well, now you can. Google, in collaboration with 17 of the world’s most famous museums, has deployed its Street View technology to give you a virtual experience of visiting these repositories of art and culture. It’s called Google Art Project and it’s mind-blowing.

You can tour the museum just like you’re there in person, clicking on individual pieces you want to learn more about and see up close. There are audio tours and YouTubes created by the museum staff to provide you with more information on what you’re seeing. There’s also an Artwork View that shows featured pieces in seven billion pixels of detail; that’s 1000 times more detailed than a regular digital picture. It also includes an information panel with links to other works by the artist and related YouTube videos. Lastly, there’s a “Create an Artwork Collection” feature so you can save any of the art you like, add comments and share it with friends.

Room 238, State Hermitage MuseumNot every gallery and artwork from every museum is in the Project. The curators of each museum chose what areas and pieces they wanted to focus on, and there are copyright issues that forced them to blur out certain images, so obviously it’s not the same as visiting in person (not that virtual tourism is ever the same as being there), but the high definition pictures of the featured artworks are so incredibly detail rich that you couldn’t possibly duplicate the experience in person.

These are the museums currently available for touring. Google will be adding more as they go along. Click the link to go directly to the Art Project tour:

Google Art Project has its own YouTube channel as well, with behind the scenes footage of how they photographed the museums. Here’s an overview video on how to navigate Art Project:


8 thoughts on “Tour world’s best museums using Google Art Project

  1. Wow wow wow wow! For a museum hound like me this is a huge treat. Thank you Livius! I can feel my productivity at work going down radically today. Don’t tell my boss.

  2. Hello there! I am glad to stop by your site and know more about Florence Museums. Keep it up! This is a good read. You have such an interesting and informative page. I will be looking forward to visit your page again and for your other posts as well. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about Florence Museums.
    During World War II the city experienced a year-long German occupation (1943–1944) and was declared an open city. The Allied soldiers who died driving the Germans from Tuscany are buried in cemeteries outside the city (Americans about nine kilometres south of the city, British and Commonwealth soldiers a few kilometres east of the centre on the right bank of the Arno). In 1944, the retreating Germans blew up the bridges along the Arno linking the district of Oltrarno to the rest of the city, making it difficult for the British troops to cross. However, at the last moment Charle Steinhauslin, at the time consulate of 26 countries in Florence, convinced the German general in Italy that the Ponte Vecchio was not to be blown up due to its historical value.

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