Attractions industry news

05 Dec 2018

Google collaborates with Netherlands’ Mauritshuis to create virtual museum dedicated to artist Johannes Vermeer

The complete works of 17th-century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer – a collection of 36 paintings spread throughout 18 collections in Europe and the US – can now be viewed in one place thanks to a new initiative between The Hague's Mauritshuis gallery, and Google Arts and Culture.

Drawing upon the help of 17 cultural partners, Vermeer’s works were captured in ultra-high resolution, making it possible to zoom in and out as desired, and then installed within a virtual museum.

Called Meet Vermeer, the paintings are gathered within an augmented reality Pocket Gallery on the Google Arts and Culture app.

The paintings – including the masterpiece Girl with the Pearl Earring (1665-1667) and The Concert (1664), which was stolen in 1990 and has never been recovered – appear life-sized and perfectly illuminated in the virtual space.

In addition, Google’s Street View technology is also utilised, with photography also allowing visitors to navigate through the corridors of famous museums such as The Frick Collection in New York or the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, to see how the paintings hang in their home institutions.

Meet Vermeer also includes documents that shed light on Vermeer’s life and insight into his legacy, as well as videos by YouTube creators, such as ‘Today I Found Out’.

The participating cultural partners to the initiative are:

• Netherlands: Mauritshuis, Rijksmuseum
• United States: Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, The Frick Collection, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Leiden Collection
• United Kingdom: The National Gallery London, Kenwood House / English Heritage, Scottish National Gallery, Royal Collection Buckingham Palace
• Ireland: National Gallery of Ireland
• France: The Louvre
• Germany: Gemaeldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Herzog Anton-Ulrich-Museum, Staedel Museum
• Austria: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien

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