Thursday, June 9, 2011

Google Art Project

I found this work ('Rye') by the Russian painter Ivan Shishkin, on Google Art Project, a wonderful tool that allows you to zoom  in to incredibly high resolution images of art in Major Galleries around the world. It's possible to look at the brushstrokes as if you were peering at the painting only a few inches away from the paint surface. 
One thing that I noticed right away was how thinly the oil paint was applied in many of the 19th century works. Up close they appeared like watercolours in some areas. In comparison, 20th century paintings tend to have much thicker paint layers.
Close up, you can see finely spattered whitish paint in the sky near the horizon, giving the effect of hazy distance.

There's no substitute for seeing a real painting in a gallery, but this comes very close.