The next best thing to being there


The Coronation of Josephine- Jacques Louis David

I’ve been to the Louvre Museum in Paris. I remember standing in front of the Mona Lisa and thinking, ‘I don’t get what all the fuss is about.’ It’s a tiny painting behind reflective glass and armed guards. Yes, it was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci, who had one of the best eyes for human anatomy ever, but standing there staring at this masterpiece left me cold. There was a painting I was wowed by that day titled The Coronation of Josephine. The rich, saturated colours and almost photographic detail were like nothing I’d ever seen in a painting. If I hadn’t been in the Louvre, chances are I would never have discovered this beautiful painting. Conversely, if I hadn’t been in the Louvre, chances are I never would have been so underwhelmed by the Mona Lisa.

Inside the State Hermitage Museum

 A museum that is currently on my bucket list is the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. It’s likely that I will never get the chance to be witness to it’s opulence in person. There are quite a few museums on my bucket list from all over the world. While I may never get to see their contents right in front of me, Google has created the next best thing. http://www.googleartproject.com/ which gives access to 155 art collections and counting. The images of the artwork are all high resolution and each collection features a virtual tour of the gallery in which each collection is housed.

The Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles

From the comfort of my home, I have been to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Tate Gallery in London, the Palace of Versailles, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and yes, even the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. While it’s not the same experience as being there, it is the closest I may ever get to seeing some of the world’s greatest artistic masterpieces inside some of the world’s greatest architectural masterpieces.

So thank you to Google for creating the next best thing to being there for those of us who dream of being there.