Every day is a good time to enjoy art. But especially today (April 15), World Art Day, when the whole world is invited to devote a few minutes to enjoying the finer things in life.
But if you don’t have time to visit a museum or gallery today, don’t worry. According to Google, World Art Day is the perfect time to take advantage of its virtual art gallery. With online access to more than 40,000 works of art in high definition, you might just decide to spend all day touring this free “museum.” Besides, perusing paintings on your screen should be welcome change from staring at tax forms.
Google Art Project was started just over two years ago as a collaboration between the Internet giant and 151 art partners in more than 40 countries. The interactive platform allows users to view some of the greatest works of art down to the level of brush strokes.
One of the key components of Google’s Art Project is its gallery feature, which allows users to create their own collections of the platform’s digital artwork. Users have created more 360,000 galleries since 2011.
Of the thousands of paintings, sculptures and architectural images accessible via Google’s platform, the most frequently included in user galleries in the past six months is Vincent van Gogh’s " The Starry Night." Several of Van Gogh’s other works are also popular with users, including "The Bedroom," "Sunflowers" and "Field with Flowers Near Arles."
Other popular works in recent months include Botticelli’s "The Birth of Venus," Manet’s "In the Conservatory" and Rembrandt’s "Self Portrait Drawing at a Window."
In addition to these classic masterpieces, recent viewers seem to be interested in the work of more contemporary artists, including Salvador Dali and Gustav Klimt.
The Art Project also includes virtual tours of more than 50 of the world’s most famous museums, galleries and architectural destinations. Art Project users can step inside the White House or the Palace of Versailles without ever leaving the couch, thanks to Google Street View technology. [See also: Google Brings History to Life Through Digital Storytelling ]
So if you can’t make it to your local art museum today, or if you’ve always wanted to tour the Metropolitan Museum of Art in your pajamas, then take a field trip with Google Art Project. You might just decide to make every day Art Day.