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12/04/2018 8:14 am  #1


Want to See All the Vermeers in the World? Now’s Your Chance

Want to See All the Vermeers in the World? Now’s Your Chance

Dec. 3, 2018


AMSTERDAM — Johannes Vermeer, whose acute eye captured the quiet beauty of Dutch domestic life, was not a prolific artist: Just 36 paintings are widely acknowledged as his work. Still, anyone who wanted to see them all had to travel far and wide — to New York, London, Paris and beyond.

Until now.

The Mauritshuis museum in The Hague, which owns what is perhaps Vermeer’s best-known masterpiece, “Girl With a Pearl Earring,” has teamed up with Google Arts & Culture in Paris to build an augmented-reality app that creates a virtual museum featuring all of the artist’s works.

For the app, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has contributed images of all five of its Vermeer masterpieces, while the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, each with four, have also given photographs of theirs. Two more have come from the Louvre, and three from the Frick Collection. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston has shared an image of “The Concert,” the Vermeer that disappeared after being stolen from the museum’s collection in 1990.

That painting will be on view once again in Meet Vermeer, the digital museum. Starting Monday, the free app will be accessible to anyone with a camera-equipped smartphone.

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/12/04/arts/04virtual-vermeer-detail/merlin_147533202_e4c51d01-9614-4923-993f-1dacec7bff1b-jumbo.jpg?quality=90&auto=webp


“This is one of these moments when technology does something that you can never do in real life, and that’s because these paintings could never be brought together in real life,” said Emilie Gordenker, director of the Mauritshuis.

She explained that some of the 17th-century paintings were too fragile to travel, while some were in private collections, and the Gardner’s was lost. But even under different circumstances, it would be unlikely that all the owners would be willing to part with all of their prized Vermeers at the same time.

The 18 museums and private collections that own Vermeer paintings, however, were willing to provide high-resolution digital image files of their Vermeers to the project.
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Opening the app, visitors gaze down at a museum with no ceiling. To enter one of the rooms displayed, they touch the phone’s surface, pinching their fingers together and then opening them. As they land in a gallery, the perspective shifts so that they face the walls, where the framed paintings hang. Zooming in, they can approach each work and examine it closely.

The first room is devoted to Vermeer’s earliest works. The rest of the museum is organized thematically, exploring subjects such as “contemplation” and the studies of faces known as “tronies.”
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Although many of these images are already on the museums’ websites, Ms. Gordenker said she wanted to give the public a sense of the paintings’ size in relation to one another — something that is hard to convey in a flat picture on a screen.

Paintings by Vermeer have long been reproduced in all types of formats, from posters to patterns on handbags and umbrellas. But as the technology improves and visitors have the artificial but intimate experience of seeing high-quality reproductions in a museum setting.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/03/arts/design/meet-vermeer-google-app-mauritshuis.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Art%20%20Design


https://artsandculture.google.com/project/vermeer


We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 
 

12/04/2018 11:10 am  #2


Re: Want to See All the Vermeers in the World? Now’s Your Chance

Thanks for posting this.  I'm in.

 

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