You may have heard that Google’s ArtProject uses the same technology that powers its Streetview feature where viewers can zoom in on locations around the world and encounter strange and sometimes fantastic scenes accidentally captured by Google’s cameras. Turns out somet
hing similar has happened when Google took giga-pixel images of great works of art. Bloomberg’s Farah Nayeri explains:
The 7-gigapixel images throw up curious details. In Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s “The Harvesters” (1565), from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, tiny background figures can be seen throwing sticks at a tied-up goose in a game called squail.
In “The Ambassadors” (1533) — now in the U.K.’s National Gallery — Hans Holbein not only represents France’s ambassador to England, but makes sure that the tiny town where his chateau is located is clearly marked on the globe in the picture.
The Wall Street Journal’s Erica Orden adds this:
The Frick selected Bellini’s painting due to its “fantastic state of conservation,” the museum’s chief curator and associate director, Colin Bailey, said.
“You can see some of its details when you stand in front of the picture, but not all of them,” Mr. Bailey said. “But when you begin to zoom, you can see a bell and a string that are attached to the bark of the tree….If you go close enough, you can even begin to see Bellini’s fingerprints.”
The Art of Technology (Wall Street Journal)