Google Arts & Culture: Meet Vermeer
First virtual museum to show all of Johannes Vermeer’s paintings
Google Arts & Culture and the Mauritshuis launched Meet Vermeer, the first ever international online retrospective of Johannes Vermeer’s paintings, made in collaboration with 17 cultural partners across Europe and the United States. The highlight is the Pocket Gallery: a virtual exhibition including all of the Dutch Old Master’s works in a new Google Arts & culture app that uses augmented reality. A dream for Vermeer fans worldwide.
Complete OeuvreOn the initiative of the Mauritshuis, Google Arts & Culture and 17 cultural partners joined forces 1 ½ years ago to create a platform for a broad international audience that includes the entire oeuvre of Vermeer (1632-1675) in super high resolution images and offers (art) historical information about his work and life. Unique to the project is that all of the collections that house Vermeers are participating. Even The Concert (1664), stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston (USA) in 1990 and never recovered, is included.
Vermeer PilgrimsThey are familiar to all the museums that have Vermeers: the Vermeer pilgrims, people who travel all over the world to see all of the artist's paintings at least once in real life. They, along with many other art lovers, share one dream: the ultimate Vermeer exhibition with the entire oeuvre in one location. But this dream exhibition can never take place. We know of only 36 paintings by Johannes Vermeer. The works are in 18 collections distributed over seven countries in Europe and the United States. The condition of several paintings prohibits them from traveling; others are not permitted to leave their home museums for other reasons.
The 'Meet Vermeer' projectPocket Gallery is a completely new augmented reality experience on the Google Arts & Culture app that transforms any smartphone into a portal to a virtual exhibition. All 36 of Vermeer’s works appear in a Pocket Gallery show that was curated by Mauritshuis experts. Vermeer’s paintings appear life-sized and perfectly illuminated in the virtual space, including the masterpiece Girl with the Pearl Earring (1665-1667) from the Mauritshuis.
Ultra-high resolutionAll Vermeer’s paintings have been photographed by the Art Camera of Google or in comparable high quality. The Art Camera is a robot camera that was created especially for photographing works of art in ultra-high resolution. This makes it possible to zoom in and out to your heart's content. The 'tour of a painting' feature allows you to see incredible details in all 36 works by Vermeer, even in his smallest paintings, such as Girl with the Flute (20 cm x 17.8 cm).
Street ViewGoogle Arts & Culture has also collected Street View photography in the museums to complement the virtual Pocket Gallery experience. Users can navigate through the corridors of The Frick Collection (New York), the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam) and various other museums to see how Vermeer's paintings hang when they are in their home institutions. Even British Queen Elizabeth II opened the doors of her Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace for the 'Meet Vermeer' project.
YouTube CreatorsIn addition to paintings, Meet Vermeer includes documents that shed light on Vermeer’s life, of which we know little. The project also includes stories that provide insight into the legacy of the Dutch master, such as a contribution by Tracy Chevalier, the author of the bestseller Girl with a Pearl Earring. And finally, users can watch various videos by YouTuber Creators like Today I Found Out. He visits the Dutch windmill that produced paint for Vermeer almost 400 years ago.
Google Arts & Culture is free for everyone to use: g.co/meetvermeer or download the app for iOS or Android.
Participating cultural institutions
- Netherlands: Mauritshuis, Rijksmuseum
- United States: Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, The Frick Collection, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Leiden Collection
- United Kingdom: The National Gallery London, Kenwood House / English Heritage, Scottish National Gallery, Royal Collection Buckingham Palace
- Ireland: National Gallery of Ireland
- France: The Louvre
- Germany: Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Herzog Anton-Ulrich-Museum, Städel Museum
- Austria:Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien