Viewing art virtually: Good, bad, ugly?

I was just reading Google’s own blog about their Google Art Project, and was interested to read:

Gigapixel (an extremely high resolution painting viewer which allows viewers to zoom in to brushstroke level) “has shown that while nothing beats seeing a painting in real life, the ability to examine a work of art in this level of detail seems to be encouraging viewers to linger. One minute is the average time spent looking at any given painting on the Art Project website, compared to under 20 seconds (according to several studies) in a museum.”

What do you think? I just had a peek at Van Gogh’s Starry Night via Gigapixel here, and I can actually zoom in to see the canvas fibres, I know I would get told off by museum security for peering this closely in a gallery setting (and yes, I frequently do!) Is it a good thing that people are engaging with art online? Or a bad thing that it might stop them going to physical galleries? Would it stop you?



what do you think....?

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