As the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic wages on, many of the world’s most prestigious art institutions have been forced to close their doors until further notice.
However, thanks to Google Arts & Culture, we can now explore these museums from the safety of our homes.
The online platform features content from more than 1,200 leading museums and archives from around the world.
Available via your laptop, desktop, or the free Google Arts & Culture app, it allows you to zoom in to examine each individual brushstroke and expand your knowledge of your favourite artists.
These are just 10 of the world-class museums that have opened their virtual doors:
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Here, you’ll find one of 17 collections of Van Gogh paintings compiled in the Google project. View detailed images of more than 160 of his artworks, including those inspired by his favourite literature. For example, The Vicarage at Nuenen captures the moody, windswept home where the young painter’s parents lived and where he first grew to love the moralistic tales of Charles Dickens.
Museo Frida Kahlo, Mexico City
La Casa Azul (The Blue House), where acclaimed Latin American artist Frida Kahlo lived and died, is now home to the museum honouring her life and legacy. A virtual exploration of the house is deeply personal – you’ll see nearly 70 examples of Kahlo’s personal effects, artworks and attire, including the body cast she famously painted while sick, as well as Self-Portrait Wearing a Velvet Dress.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
An American icon, The Met boasts one of the most celebrated collections on earth. You can explore 26 virtual exhibits and view more than 200,000 works spanning 5,000 years. Examine intricate engravings from the 1600s, stunning glass sculptures, romantic watercolour paintings, and garments lovingly made by Coco Chanel herself.
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
Built inside the former Orsay railway station in the heart of Paris, Musée d’Orsay is considered a work of art in itself. Internationally renowned for its rich collection of Impressionist art, it displays collections of art from the period 1848–1914, including Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles and Thomas Couture’s Romans during the Decadence.
MoMA, New York
Established in 1929, MoMA was the first museum dedicated to collecting and presenting art from the modern era. Google presents 129 contemporary artworks, including Henri Rousseau’s The Dream, Van Gogh’s The Starry Night (pictured) and Cézanne’s The Bather.
Tate Britain, London
A UK institution established in 1897, the Tate now boasts one of the premier collections of British art dating back to the Tudor era. Through Google’s platform, you can browse 270 works of art – from Dante Gabriel Rosetti’s Proserpine to Millais’s Ophelia (pictured) and an extensive array of JMW Turner’s work.
La Galleria Nazionale, Rome
La Galleria Nazionale displays both Italian and international paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations ranging from the 19th to 21st century. Nearly 500 works from its impressive 20,000-strong collection are digitally documented, including Monet’s Ninfee Rosa, Antonio Canova’s Ercole e Lica and Boldini’s Ritratto di Mademoiselle Lanthèlme.
Rijks Museum, Amsterdam
If you’re a fan of Vermeer or Rembrandt, Amsterdam’s Rijks Museum is a must. A whopping 164,511 pieces of artwork from the revered institution are available in high definition via Google Arts & Culture. Noteworthy examples include Rembrandt’s Self Portrait, Vermeer’s The Milkmaid and Verspronck’s Portrait of a Girl Dressed in Blue.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Founded in 1937, the Guggenheim is dedicated to fostering an understanding of modern and contemporary art and architecture through exhibitions as well as education programs, research initiatives and publications. You’ll be able to get up close and personal with more than 200 works from its impressive holdings, which range from sculptures and installations to performance pieces and photography.
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