Google has announced its new Art Project, in collaboration with 17 international art museums, to bring a new world of art online.

Featuring collections from the Tate Britain, Museo Reina Sofia and Van Gogh Museum, Google has used its Streetview technology to help bring the museums to life.

Making museums virtual isn't a new phenomenon, but Google has worked with the museums to bring thousands of images into one place.

Trolley dolly

Using a a specially designed Street View trolley, 360 degree images were taken of selected galleries, and each museum selected one piece of artwork to be photographed at gigapixel resolution.

Each image is 7-14 billion pixels in depth, enabling viewers to explore brushwork and intricate detail not before available online, and you can zoom, bookmark and comment on the picture too... we can only hope the YouTube brigade doesn't get involved.

Museums are providing thousands of other images to the project to complete the gallery, allowing them to store and offer links to information and video on the subjects.

The project was created using Google's famed '20% time' and will be available from www.googleartproject.com or from Street View in Google Maps.