The Bilbao Fine Arts Museum in the Google Art Project
144 artworks from the Museum collection photographed in high resolution for inclusion in the great Art Project visual encyclopaedia.
In February 2011 Google lunched the first phase of its Art Project, an initiative that will enable Net users to explore art through new digital tools. Originally involved in the project were 17 museums from all over the world, including the Metropolitan in New York, London’s National Gallery, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Reina Sofía National Museum and Art Centre</b>, the latter two both in Madrid. The project took off with 1,061 artworks photographed in extremely high resolution. More than 12 million Net users visited the Art Project site in the three months after the launch.
Art Project enables users to create their own galleries and explore contents by artist name, by artwork, by the type of art, museum, country, collections and eras. Photographed in high resolution with a level of detail so extraordinary users can actually see the features of individual brushstrokes that otherwise pass unperceived by the naked eye. The Art Project platform also offers a range of tools to help people get far deeper insights into the works and share them with other users.
Now Google is set to launch a second phase with 151 new additions from 40 countries and 30,000-plus artworks photographed in high resolution. Spanish museums selected include the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, the National Art Museum of Catalonia, the Valencia Institute of Modern Art (IVAM), the Fundación Santander foundation and the Art Nouveau Museum and Art Déco Casa Lis in Salamanca.
The Bilbao Fine Arts Museum has contributed 144 images for its collection, including its masterworks, ranging from the Romanesque to the present day, a selection of posters and artworks from the Orient. Featured are the Masters from the Spanish school of painting, such as El Greco, Ribera, Murillo, Zurbarán and Goya, from Flemish and Dutch painting (including Gossart, Benson and Coecke, Mandijn, Vredeman de Vries, De Vos, Jordaens, Van Dyck, Grebber and Ruisdael) and an ample selection of Basque artists.
Museum director Javier Viar describes Art Project as “a valuable tool” from Google in the bid to publicise and divulge “the wealth of artworks in our museums.” He also sees it as favouring “the participation of a younger public who are already familiar with the new technologies. The Bilbao Fine Arts Museum is delighted to add to the huge potential of this virtual museum. It is a huge step towards universal access to art and culture.”