Google brings hi-res artworks online

Madrid's Prado uploads 14,000 megapixel works of art to Google
Madrid's Prado uploads 14,000 megapixel works of art to Google

If you haven't had the pleasure of visiting Madrid's famous Prado museum to view some of the greatest masterpieces of renaissance and modern-day art then fear not, as Google is bringing hi-res versions straight to your laptop.

"Velázquez's Las Meninas can be seen down to the individual brush strokes online," enthuses the Guardian's art critic this week.

Now here is a turn up for the books? An art critic enthusing about the power of technology to bring art to the masses!

"It allows people to see the main masterworks in the museum as they never have done before," a Prado museum rep said. "You can see details that the human eye alone is unable to see."

Seminal artworks online

Seminal works by Francisco de Goya, Diego Velázquez and Hieronymus Bosch – can be seen online in incredibly high resolution.

Bosch's frightening and wonderfulThe Garden of Earthly Delights, one of the best-known paintings of all time, is now available for the entire world to pore over. Enjoy!

You can also check out Velázquez's Las Meninas, Goya's El Tres de Mayo, Rubens's The Three Graces and a number of other paintings by Titian, El Greco and Rembrandt.

14,000 megapixel images

The Google Earth images are 14,000 megapixels, "sewn together digitally from more than 8,000 high-resolution photographs of sections of the paintings."

Prado's director, Miguel Zugaza told the Guardian that "he had used the images to check the quality of restoration work."

Zugaza added a note of caution for art-lovers, noting: "This shows you the body of the painting, but what you won't find here is the soul... You can only find that by looking at the original."

Well, you could, if you could get past the three hundred Japanese art students standing in your way...

Adam Hartley