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Posted on Monday, October 4th, 2010

Dave!I love creativity. I love art. I love art museums. I love traveling to art museums around the world and experiencing the amazing creatings of beauty and imagination I find there.

And yet... even though I travel quite a lot, it would be impossible for me to see all the museums and works of art that I'd like to see. That's why I'm thrilled that more and more museums are starting to put their collections online. Sure it's not the same as seeing them in person, but it's certainly better than nothing. Especially when you look at the amazing quality of the digital representations they're giving us.

First up is Haltadefinizione, with their astounding hi-res scans of some famous works. You can zoom in so close as to see the actual brushstrokes and cracks in the plaster. Like this breathtaking view of Jesus from The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci...

Da Vinci's Last Supper

Da Vinci Last Supper Zoom

Or this stunning zoom of Bacco by Caravaggio...

Bacco by Caravaggio

Bacco by Caravaggio Zoom

Amazing. Just amazing. And they also offer gallery prints of the various works and selected zoom prints as well. I wish I could afford them.

In equally amazing news, The Vatican has graciously put a virtual "window" into the Sistine Chapel on their site so you can explore Michelangelo's master works of the cieling and Last Judgement (along with the works by other geniuses such as Raphael, Bernini, and Botticelli)...

Sistine Chapel

Sistine Chapel Zoom

Sistine Chapel Zoom

Even though I've seen these works in person, I've never seen them like this. To be able to zoom in and study great masters in such detail is just too good to be true.

Art deserves to be enjoyed by everybody. Museums who choose to share their treasures over the internet are enriching the world for us all, and I couldn't be more grateful for their efforts.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to get lost in some art for a while...

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Categories: Internets 2010Click To It: Permalink


  1. Lisa says:

    I’m really glad museums are starting to do this. It is unlikely that I will be able to visit more than just a few of these places in person so I’m excited to see that there are options besides looking at art books. Art books are nice, but being able to zoom is amazing.

  2. thank you for enlightening me to the fact that these sites exist! i’m embarrassed that i never looked for them, but so excited to now know they are available to me.

  3. A. Lewis says:

    Would you believe that I’ve only been to one art museum in my entire life. And even then I was dragging my feet…tired and not really wanting to go. But I did. The Van Gogh in Amsterdam! AMAZING! I was so so so so wrong.

  4. Sybil Law says:

    I definitely love you.

  5. shari says:

    I had no idea. This internet-thingy is all kinds of awesome! It was nice of Al Gore to give it to us.

  6. Sarkawt says:

    I immensely love art. Looking at those indispensable portraits was more like I am at the museum now enjoying their general splendor. It’s just beyond description to have them all online for us to see. Thanks Dave for sharing this site. I really enjoyed it. Keep it coming, brother.

  7. kyle says:

    this is so so so so amazing – thank you for posting this.

  8. claire says:

    I love Caravaggio. The Halta definizione scans are *amazing*. Though it’s not the same as seeing it in person, it allows you to see art as though shot with a macro lens which is very cool. Also, it satisfies–for me at least– some of the urge to hold a work in your own hands.

    Very cool. Thank you, Dave!

  9. Sarah says:

    So I’m taking this art history class about South Asian Art and right now we are talking about Buddhism art and it makes me think of you.

  10. When I was younger I couldn’t care less about art but in my old age I’ve come to love it. I spent the whole day in the Louvre and even that wasn’t enough.

  11. muskrat says:

    Cool. I think this also means I need to go back to the Louvre. And Rome.

  12. So glad they did this. People like me who never really get to travel much can now better appreciate all these great works of art.

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