Tag Archives: Arts & Culture

Step inside the Forbidden City with precious artworks from the Palace Museum on Google Arts & Culture

For nearly 500 years—from 1420 to 1912—the Forbidden City was home to 24 emperors. Among its most illustrious inhabitants was the Qianlong Emperor, a patron of Confucian arts and culture who, during his 50-year reign in the 18th century, amassed the most important collection of artwork in Chinese history.

Qianlong Emperor

The Qianlong Emperor in Ceremonial Armor on Horseback. Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766, Chinese name Lang Shining)

This rich collection was built upon by his successors over time and went on to become the centerpiece of the Palace Museum that opened to people outside the imperial court for the first time in 1925. And starting today, anyone with an internet connection can now glimpse inside and view 100 precious artifacts from the Palace Museum on Google Arts & Culture.

The exhibit captures the breadth of rare and valuable works that are on display in the Forbidden City—from calligraphy to ceramics, silk paintings to stone carvings, and jades and other jewels. The Palace Museum collection on Google Arts & Culture covers over 6,000 years of China’s culture and history, and sheds particular light on the Qianlong Emperor’s reign, the traditions and prosperity of the Qing Empire.

One of the collection’s oldest surviving pieces, the Bu Shang Studying, Running Regular Script was made by calligrapher Ouyang Xun to document the philosophical reasoning of one of Confucius’ most distinguished pupils. Zoom into the artwork to appreciate Ouyang’s brushstrokes. This piece was widely documented throughout history, finally entering the imperial collection during the Qianlong Emperor’s reign, who included it in his personal album of splendid calligraphic works. 

The Seal of Imperial Sacrifices to Heaven features a knob carved in the form of a crouching dragon and is said to be one of the Qianlong Emperor’s twenty-five most cherished seals, and was used in his worship of Heaven.

Selected pieces from Palace Museum

From left to right: Bu Shang Studying, Running Regular Script, Ouyang Xun (557-641);  Seal of Imperial Sacrifices to Heaven - View 1 and View 2.

Listening to a Zither (detail)
Detail from Listening to a Zither. Zhao Ji (1082-1135)

The Qianlong Emperor developed a practice of leaving an imprint of his imperial seal on many of his favorite pieces of art. Slowly zoom in to Listening to a Zither, a quintessential piece of court figure-paintings of the Song dynasty, and scroll to the left to find two stamps added by the emperor. 

 With Google Arts & Culture, you can explore more of the Qianlong Emperor’s most prized artworks that he placed his seal on, such as the Admonitions Scroll, some of which are now found in collections around the world.

Come and discover these gems from the Palace Museum and much more on Google Arts & Culture today, available on desktopiOS and Android.

Step inside the Forbidden City with precious artworks from the Palace Museum on Google Arts & Culture

For nearly 500 years—from 1420 to 1912—the Forbidden City was home to 24 emperors. Among its most illustrious inhabitants was the Qianlong Emperor, a patron of Confucian arts and culture who, during his 50-year reign in the 18th century, amassed the most important collection of artwork in Chinese history.

Qianlong Emperor

The Qianlong Emperor in Ceremonial Armor on Horseback. Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766, Chinese name Lang Shining)

This rich collection was built upon by his successors over time and went on to become the centerpiece of the Palace Museum that opened to people outside the imperial court for the first time in 1925. And starting today, anyone with an internet connection can now glimpse inside and view 100 precious artifacts from the Palace Museum on Google Arts & Culture.

The exhibit captures the breadth of rare and valuable works that are on display in the Forbidden City—from calligraphy to ceramics, silk paintings to stone carvings, and jades and other jewels. The Palace Museum collection on Google Arts & Culture covers over 6,000 years of China’s culture and history, and sheds particular light on the Qianlong Emperor’s reign, the traditions and prosperity of the Qing Empire.

One of the collection’s oldest surviving pieces, the Bu Shang Studying, Running Regular Script was made by calligrapher Ouyang Xun to document the philosophical reasoning of one of Confucius’ most distinguished pupils. Zoom into the artwork to appreciate Ouyang’s brushstrokes. This piece was widely documented throughout history, finally entering the imperial collection during the Qianlong Emperor’s reign, who included it in his personal album of splendid calligraphic works. 

The Seal of Imperial Sacrifices to Heaven features a knob carved in the form of a crouching dragon and is said to be one of the Qianlong Emperor’s twenty-five most cherished seals, and was used in his worship of Heaven.

Selected pieces from Palace Museum

From left to right: Bu Shang Studying, Running Regular Script, Ouyang Xun (557-641);  Seal of Imperial Sacrifices to Heaven - View 1 and View 2.

Listening to a Zither (detail)
Detail from Listening to a Zither. Zhao Ji (1082-1135)

The Qianlong Emperor developed a practice of leaving an imprint of his imperial seal on many of his favorite pieces of art. Slowly zoom in to Listening to a Zither, a quintessential piece of court figure-paintings of the Song dynasty, and scroll to the left to find two stamps added by the emperor. 

 With Google Arts & Culture, you can explore more of the Qianlong Emperor’s most prized artworks that he placed his seal on, such as the Admonitions Scroll, some of which are now found in collections around the world.

Come and discover these gems from the Palace Museum and much more on Google Arts & Culture today, available on desktopiOS and Android.

The grand tour of Italy: traveling through the past and present to define our future

Italian culture—art, architecture, music and food—have made Italy great in the eyes of the rest of the world. Have you ever wondered how these Italian masterpieces from the past have shaped today’s present, and how they can continue to be a source of inspiration in the future?

Three hundred years ago, Italy’s “Grand Tour” was a journey made mainly by wealthy young people from Venice to Sicily, going through Tuscany, Rome or Naples, to discover the legacy of classical art and Renaissance Masterpieces. Europe’s upper class families made a tradition of sending their sons and daughters to explore  the country’s artwork to inspire a love of culture and creativity. Today Google brings this journey back to life, but this time we’re making it available to everyone, everywhere.

We’ve  reinterpreted the The Grand Tour of Italy on Google Arts & Culture through vivid exhibits and storytelling from partners including the Comitato Giovani della Commissione Nazionale Italiana for UNESCO, Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia—Museo Correr and Cà RezzonicoAccademia dei Fisiocritici, Consorzio per la Tutela del Palio di Siena, Outdoor Project, and the Teatro Massimo in Palermo. Working together, and with a little help from Google’s technology, we’re proud to present The Grand Tour of Italy,  which explores four cities in five Cardboard tours, 25 videos, 21 Street View tours, 38 digital exhibitions and 1300+ images.

People everywhere can embark on a digital trip from Venice to Palermo, going through Siena and Rome to see some of the cultural treasures of Italy, experience timeless traditions, take a closer look at masterpieces in ultra-high resolution and discover Italian innovations that have changed the modern world.

Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Festa del Redentore, find out about its origins and history, or usingsimple Google Cardboard, you can experience the magic of the Redentore fireworks display with a 360° virtual tour. Enjoy the excitement of a tradition that shapes the life of an entire city, and experience the preparation for the Palio di Siena, as if you were right there. In one click, you can go to Pienza and discover how a small town with a population of around 3,000 created a new approach to town planning, later used in laying out larger modern cities. Take a virtual walk around Rome and stop to look at the statue of Pasquino, hear the story of the talking statues and the “Pasquinate”, the forerunner of today’s social media. Go into the Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele of Palermo, the largest opera theatre in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. It used to be exclusively for the city’s upper class, but now everyone can enjoy it.

Our digital journey continues to Venice (and in the coming months in Siena, Rome and Palermo), where we’ll help residents of the city prepare cities for a digital future. Free seminars and workshops organized with our partners will help spread digital skills among citizens and make sure the younger generations are ready to take advantage of the opportunities offered by technology.

If you’re in Venice, come and see us from May 19-21 at the Arsenale Nord, Tesa 94 (from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) to discover how these fascinating stories come to life. If not, don’t miss the chance to discover more about the project and download Google Art & Culture app on Android and iOS!

Journey into space with women astronauts and “Dot of Light”

“I could just look at this beautiful landscape of shiny little dots and this black background and think about all the worlds that could be out there waiting for me to discover them.”

So says astronaut Anousheh Ansari in “Dot of Light,” a new film from writer and director Eliza McNitt, produced in collaboration with Google.

“Dot of Light” tells the story of three women and their pioneering journeys to outer space, using archival footage alongside intimate interviews with Kathryn D. Sullivan, Nicole Stott and Anousheh Ansari. The film incorporates footage captured with Pixel, and is part of a collaboration between McNitt and Google that also includes new limited edition Live Case designs inspired by women astronauts and our collective dream of travelling beyond the stars.

Watch the film above to travel out of this world and see the Earth from space—and through the eyes of these notable women.

Journey into space with women astronauts and “Dot of Light”

“I could just look at this beautiful landscape of shiny little dots and this black background and think about all the worlds that could be out there waiting for me to discover them.”

So says astronaut Anousheh Ansari in “Dot of Light,” a new film from writer and director Eliza McNitt, produced in collaboration with Google.

“Dot of Light” tells the story of three women and their pioneering journeys to outer space, using archival footage alongside intimate interviews with Kathryn D. Sullivan, Nicole Stott and Anousheh Ansari. The film incorporates footage captured with Pixel, and is part of a collaboration between McNitt and Google that also includes new limited edition Live Case designs inspired by women astronauts and our collective dream of travelling beyond the stars.

Watch the film above to travel out of this world and see the Earth from space—and through the eyes of these notable women.

The Ghent Altarpiece: how we digitized one of the most influential artworks of all time

Some 600 years ago, the Van Eyck brothers created one of the first large-scale oil paintings: “Adoration of the Mystic Lamb.” Due to its pioneering attention to detail and realistic portrayal of people, the “Ghent Altarpiece” is renowned as one of the most influential paintings ever made and a defining artwork that represents the start of the Northern Renaissance.

ghent altarpiece (inside).gif

As such an important symbol in art history, the altarpiece has long been highly sought after and widely coveted. Since 1432, when it was first installed at Saint Bavo Cathedral in what’s now Belgium, the Altarpiece has survived 13 crimes. Looted, burned and torn apart, it’s been through the hands of multiple armies, including those of Napoleon and the Nazis.

After World War II, the Monuments Men—a group set up by the Allied armies to protect cultural heritage from the Nazis—brought it back to its original home in Ghent, Belgium. One of the panels—“The Just Judges”—is still missing following its theft in 1934. Its absence remains one of the most intriguing riddles in art history.
output_sM4QuS (1).gif

Archives documenting the Altarpiece’s rescue at the end of WWII from the collection of Lukas - Art in Flanders.

Now, the freshly renovated exterior panels of the Altarpiece can be explored in ultra-high resolution on Google Arts & Culture. Thanks to a partnership with the online image library of Flemish art heritage Lukas - Art in Flanders and the Cathedral of Saint-Bavo, we’ve digitized this masterpiece for future generations to explore in unprecedented detail.

Mystic Lamb Altarpiece

Our robotic Art Camera took about 4,000 high-resolution close-ups of the artwork and used those to create the highest ever resolution image ever made of the panels. You can zoom as much as you’d like into more than 8 billion pixels.

20160926_google_078.JPG
Art Camera digitizing one of the 10 exterior panels of the Altarpiece

Discover amazing details, revealed by the panels’ recent renovation: for example, a charming view of medieval Ghent which used to be barely visible. Now you can even make out the lines of the book Mary is reading.

Altarpiece_detail.png

This is one of the latest efforts by Google Arts & Culture to provide institutions with the tools to digitally preserve their collections and make cultural heritage more accessible to everyone.

Explore the adventurous past and rescue of the Altarpiece today—and download Google Art & Culture app on iOS or Android for a daily dose of culture.

The Ghent Altarpiece: how we digitized one of the most influential artworks of all time

Some 600 years ago, the Van Eyck brothers created one of the first large-scale oil paintings: “Adoration of the Mystic Lamb.” Due to its pioneering attention to detail and realistic portrayal of people, the “Ghent Altarpiece” is renowned as one of the most influential paintings ever made and a defining artwork that represents the start of the Northern Renaissance.

ghent altarpiece (inside).gif

As such an important symbol in art history, the altarpiece has long been highly sought after and widely coveted. Since 1432, when it was first installed at Saint Bavo Cathedral in what’s now Belgium, the Altarpiece has survived 13 crimes. Looted, burned and torn apart, it’s been through the hands of multiple armies, including those of Napoleon and the Nazis.

After World War II, the Monuments Men—a group set up by the Allied armies to protect cultural heritage from the Nazis—brought it back to its original home in Ghent, Belgium. One of the panels—“The Just Judges”—is still missing following its theft in 1934. Its absence remains one of the most intriguing riddles in art history.
output_sM4QuS (1).gif

Archives documenting the Altarpiece’s rescue at the end of WWII from the collection of Lukas - Art in Flanders.

Now, the freshly renovated exterior panels of the Altarpiece can be explored in ultra-high resolution on Google Arts & Culture. Thanks to a partnership with the online image library of Flemish art heritage Lukas - Art in Flanders and the Cathedral of Saint-Bavo, we’ve digitized this masterpiece for future generations to explore in unprecedented detail.

Mystic Lamb Altarpiece

Our robotic Art Camera took about 4,000 high-resolution close-ups of the artwork and used those to create the highest ever resolution image ever made of the panels. You can zoom as much as you’d like into more than 8 billion pixels.

20160926_google_078.JPG
Art Camera digitizing one of the 10 exterior panels of the Altarpiece

Discover amazing details, revealed by the panels’ recent renovation: for example, a charming view of medieval Ghent which used to be barely visible. Now you can even make out the lines of the book Mary is reading.

Altarpiece_detail.png

This is one of the latest efforts by Google Arts & Culture to provide institutions with the tools to digitally preserve their collections and make cultural heritage more accessible to everyone.

Explore the adventurous past and rescue of the Altarpiece today—and download Google Art & Culture app on iOS or Android for a daily dose of culture.

See Our Latest Data Center Murals

Last May, we announced the Data Center Mural Project, a partnership with artists to bring a bit of the magic from the inside of our data centers to the outside. Two artists in Oklahoma and Belgium created murals that celebrate both the work that happens inside the buildings and the communities where the data centers reside.

Today, we’re excited to unveil our next two data center murals.

In Council Bluffs, Iowa, painter Gary Kelley’s mural shows how Council Bluffs has served as a hub of information for centuries. Ideas have always flowed through the region, from Lewis and Clark to the Transcontinental Railroad, and now the data center in Council Bluffs is helping bring the internet to people all over the world. 

In Dublin, Ireland, illustrator Fuchsia MacAree was inspired by how Ireland’s unique climate and fresh air, rather than mechanical cooling, regulates the temperature of Google’s data center. She’s created a series of whimsical murals depicting a windy day in Dublin, including scenes from local landmarks like Grand Canal Square, Phoenix Park and Moore Street Market.

Check out photos and videos of all the data center murals at g.co/datacentermurals.

See Our Latest Data Center Murals

Last May, we announced the Data Center Mural Project, a partnership with artists to bring a bit of the magic from the inside of our data centers to the outside. Two artists in Oklahoma and Belgium created murals that celebrate both the work that happens inside the buildings and the communities where the data centers reside.

Today, we’re excited to unveil our next two data center murals.

In Council Bluffs, Iowa, painter Gary Kelley’s mural shows how Council Bluffs has served as a hub of information for centuries. Ideas have always flowed through the region, from Lewis and Clark to the Transcontinental Railroad, and now the data center in Council Bluffs is helping bring the internet to people all over the world. 

In Dublin, Ireland, illustrator Fuchsia MacAree was inspired by how Ireland’s unique climate and fresh air, rather than mechanical cooling, regulates the temperature of Google’s data center. She’s created a series of whimsical murals depicting a windy day in Dublin, including scenes from local landmarks like Grand Canal Square, Phoenix Park and Moore Street Market.

Check out photos and videos of all the data center murals at g.co/datacentermurals.

Source: Google Cloud


See our latest data center murals

Last May, we announced the Data Center Mural Project, a partnership with artists to bring a bit of the magic from the inside of our data centers to the outside. Two artists in Oklahoma and Belgium created murals that celebrate both the work that happens inside the buildings and the communities where the data centers reside.

Today, we’re excited to unveil our next two data center murals.

In Council Bluffs, Iowa, painter Gary Kelley’s mural shows how Council Bluffs has served as a hub of information for centuries. Ideas have always flowed through the region, from Lewis and Clark to the Transcontinental Railroad, and now the data center in Council Bluffs is helping bring the internet to people all over the world. 

In Dublin, Ireland, illustrator Fuchsia MacAree was inspired by how Ireland’s unique climate and fresh air, rather than mechanical cooling, regulates the temperature of Google’s data center. She’s created a series of whimsical murals depicting a windy day in Dublin, including scenes from local landmarks like Grand Canal Square, Phoenix Park and Moore Street Market.

Check out photos and videos of all the data center murals at g.co/datacentermurals.

Source: Google Cloud