Visit the Prado Art Collection with Google Earth

in Art, Google, Video - Arts & Culture | January 14th, 2009

Thankfully, it’s not all bad news here in Silicon Valley. Yesterday, Google and the Prado (the major art museum in Madrid) announced that you can launch Google Earth from wherever you live, travel virtually to Spain, and then take a close look at fourteen of the museum’s finest paintings. And, by “close,” I mean close. According to a Google spokesman said: “The paintings have been photographed in very high resolution and contain as many as 14,000 million pixels (14 gigapixels).” “With this high level resolution you are able to see fine details such as the tiny bee on a flower in The Three Graces (by Rubens), delicate tears on the faces of the figures in The Descent from the Cross (by Roger van der Weyden) and complex figures in The Garden of Earthly Delights (by El Bosco).” The fourteen paintings include pieces by Francisco de Goya, Diego Velázquez and Hieronymus Bosch. You can begin the tour (and get Google Earth software) from this landing page. The video below also offers a nice visual illustration of what this project is all about. (A quick tip: if you have Google Earth, make sure that you have “3D Buildings” checked off under “Layers.” Then do a search for “Prado” and click on “Museu del Prado.” From there, click on the image of the museum. Next, you should see a series of paintings that you can begin to explore.)

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Comments (9)

  1. Stephen Downes says . . .
    January 15, 2009 / 4:34 am

    Don’t get too excited. Photography inside the Prado is strictly prohibited. So you’re still viewing commercial images, while the right to use those images (which ought quite properly to be public domain) is being denied.

  2. Dan Colman says . . .
    January 16, 2009 / 11:37 am

    Stephen, Thanks for adding that piece of information. That’s really unfortunate. They should revise their thinking on that.

    Dan

  3. January 26, 2009 / 1:02 pm

    […] discovered this morning that with Google Earth I can now get fourteen of the Prado’s famous paintings – including The Garden of Earthly Delights – in high resolution detail on my computer. Bosch is […]

  4. September 2, 2009 / 10:43 pm

    […] hosts other educational content. In the past, we’ve mentioned how the program will let you tour the Prado Art collection in Spain, and also see Ancient Rome in 3D. But that’s not where the educational content ends. For […]

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  7. January 22, 2010 / 5:10 am

    […] Visit the Prada Art Collection with Google Earth. Let Google take you to Madrid to view the Prada art collection. […]

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    […] Visit the Prado Art Collection with Google Earth Share: […]

  9. shawn koppenhoefer says . . .
    August 17, 2013 / 12:54 am

    @DanColeman : Nice post,.. wish there was more.
    Since 2009 much has happened, I’m sure, in as much as the PradoMuseum itself, GoogleEarth VirtualReality VirtualTourism Sketchup etc. Can someone give us some forward links related to this topic?

    For example, I would love to know more about the video/photography crew pictured in this video and their work process behindthescenes.

    Thanks and helloFromLausanne.
    shawn koppenhoefer
    shawnkoppenhoefer.com

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