A NEGATIVE VOTE ON THE GOOGLE ART PROJECT.

A NEGATIVE VOTE ON THE GOOGLE ART PROJECT. Sebastian Smee had an article at the Boston.com site which takes a negative view of the Google art project. Its headline is: “In the end, Google’s closeups intrude on the art experience.” He describes the technology as “initially astounding — and then weirdly disappointing.” His argument really comes down to pointing out the advantages that original paintings have over reproductions. He gives some technical reasons. Human vision is binocular and “can grasp the thickness, weight, and texture of the yellow impasto Van Gogh used for the stars and moon in ‘The Starry Night’ much more effectively than a camera.” He also does a good job of articulating what most of us know to be true, that experiencing an original painting is different and better than looking at even the best reproduction. Smee says that art is about “immediate, untranslatable experiences that take place in our souls….”

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One Response to A NEGATIVE VOTE ON THE GOOGLE ART PROJECT.

  1. Margo Schaefer says:

    It’s true that seeing the art in person is a better experience, in general. But we cannot travel the world to see all the wonderful art there is to see and this google art project is a huge help. Also, when you do make the effort to see the art in person, sometimes it is disappointing. The painting you want to see is out on loan or poorly displayed. I remember going to the Scuola San Rocco in Venice to see the great Tintoretto paintings, but the room was so dim and the paintings so high that I ended up spending an hour or so in the gift shop looking at the book of reproductions of their collection instead of looking at the real thing. Plus there is the fatigue factor…it’s easier to look at paintings intensively for an hour each of seven days than for seven hours straight on one day.

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