Tag Archives: Austria

Teaming up with Europeana to bring Europe’s culture online

It was a natural marriage. Our Google Cultural Institute based in Paris is devoted to partnering with institutions around the world to allow online access to art, archives and other, often previously hard-to-find culture. Europeana, launched in 2009, represents a bold European project bringing together more than 2,000 museums, archives, and other institutions, with their rich collections of millions of books, paintings, films and other objects.

Given these complementary missions, it is with great pleasure that we just have launched Europeana’s first exhibit on our Cultural Institute. Curated by the Austrian National Library, the new virtual exhibition is part of Europeana’s 1914-1918 project and represents the first Austrian contribution to our own Cultural Institute’s First World War channel.

The Austrian library exhibition guides visitors through the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph’s manifestos, from announcements for mobilisation, to administering shortages, to dealing with prisoners of war and refugees. “Putting the content online ensures that all of this history is preserved for future generations,” said Wiebe de Jager of Europeana. “Partnerships with prestigious platforms such as the Google Cultural Institute is one way to effectively share with people our common history that defined who we are and what we do.”

Online exhibition “To My Peoples!”, by Europeana in association with Austrian National Library
It’s a tremendous undertaking to bring Europe’s rich cultural heritage online, one that can only be achieved by both private and public effort. As this collaboration shows, both Europeana and Google share similar visions - allowing people around the world to explore Europe's cultural and scientific heritage from prehistory to the modern day.

Take a look at this Easter Bunny

Albrecht Dürer's masterpiece the Hare is a favourite Easter image, and today it serves as a model for chocolate bunnies. The Google Cultural Institute is celebrating this season by today releasing a gigapixel image of the Hare. Gigapixel images contain billions of pixels, that’s around 1,000 times more detailed than your average digital camera.

Albrecht Dürer: Hare, 1502,
The watercolor painting is extremely light sensitive -- so much so that the museum who owns it, the Albertina in Austria, only can show it to the public every few years. From now on, thanks to the Internet, everyone can experience the magic of Dürer's technique at the most incredible level of detail at any time.

 Zoom to a detail on Google Art Project
Dürer painted the Hare in 1502, rendering the animal with an almost photographic accuracy that is extraordinary today as it was more than 500 years ago. It is the artist’s most famous study of nature and one of the finest in Western art. The hare’s fur spreads out in different directions and is spotted in light and dark patches. Dürer not only managed to create a detailed, almost scientific, study of the animal, but also used nuanced brushwork to paint the finest hairs of its coat, infusing the picture with warmth, light and life.

The animal’s watchful eyes, vibrating whiskers, and alert ears give the impression that the hare might hop out off the paper at any moment. An interesting detail to explore using the zoom feature is the the hare’s right eye which appears to reflect the interior of a room or form the shape of a cross. According to the Albertina curators, the image might be a reflection of the artist’s studio, or perhaps the Christian symbol of the cross which would lend religious significance to this image from nature. Take a look, and come up with your own ideas.