Google Art Project Videos

Google initially worked with seventeen art museums, including The Frick Collection and three other US institutions (The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, in New York and, the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian, in Washington D.C.), to create an online resource where visitors can explore museums from around the world, discover and view works of art at very powerful zoom levels, and even create and share their own virtual collections of masterpieces. The results of this global partnership can be explored at googleartproject.com.

 

For more information about the second phase of the Google Art Project, see Interact > Virtual Tours

 

The intriguing story behind the commission, rejection, and rehousing of Fragonard’s paintings is brought to life by Colin B. Bailey, former Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator at the Frick (now Director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco) in an updated video produced in 2013 (click here for that video). Bailey leads viewers through the narrative of the Progress of Love, revealing the rich meanings imbedded in Fragonard’s paintings while also illuminating the artist’s exquisite technique. 

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Of the many self-portraits Rembrandt painted over a lifetime, this is perhaps the greatest, not only for its poignant revelations of the self, but for his sure handling of paint. The initial effect on viewers is daunting, as though they are confronting an ill-tempered monarch. The strange costume he wears is timeless. In place of a crown, he wears a large velvet artist's beret. He holds a painter's stick as though it were a scepter. Yet this feeling of uneasy confrontation diminishes as we study the face.

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Hans Holbein came to London from Switzerland in 1526, only a year before he dated this portrait. With a letter of introduction from the philosopher Erasmus, Holbein entered the rarefied circle of Sir Thomas More (1477/78-1535) and was soon living near him in Chelsea. More, in a letter back to Erasmus, spoke of Holbein as "a wonderful artist." Famed as a humanist scholar and author of the Utopia, More was a powerful statesman as well. By this time, he had already served Henry VIII as privy councillor for over a decade and became his lord chancellor in 1529.

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