Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Google and Spain's Prado Museum have teamed up to put 14 masterpieces, including Francisco de Goya's "Third of May," online in high-resolution detail.

Long a satisfactory procrastination aid at work, school or home, Google Earth allows users to soar above cities and countries, oceans and deserts. Now, Google is teaming up with Spain’s Prado Museum to bring armchair tourists access to 14 of Spain’s most treasured works of art, including works by Francisco de Goya, Diego Velázquez and Hieronymus Bosch—all in stunningly high-resolution detail.

Google Earth’s technology allows users to get close enough to examine a painter's brushstrokes or the craquelure (small cracks) on the varnish of a painting. The images of these works are about 14,000 million pixels, 1,400 times more detailed than the image a 10-megapixel digital camera would take. "There is no better way to pay tribute to the great masters of the history of art than to universalize knowledge of their works using optimum conditions," Prado Director Miguel Zugaza told the Associated Press.
Even if you don't have Google Earth in your computer, you can see this --and zoom, and zoom...-- here.