Quantcast
Shuk Gallery
Cheery Skeleton Mosaic Found in Turkey Says, “Enjoy Your Life”

REALLY Immerse Yourself in Art with Virtual Reality

Thanks to a new virtual reality project launched this week by the Google Cultural Institute, you can now immerse yourself in one of Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s most bizarre paintings and hang out with the peculiar creatures that cover its canvas. The project, which brings to life the Flemish master’s 1562 “The Fall of the Rebel Angels,” is viewable on YouTube but is best experienced on headsets such as a Google Cardboard mask. While the Institute has recently brought 360-degree videos of performances closer to audiences around the world, this marks the first time it has created a virtual reality experience for an artwork.

While the performance videos were a little underwhelming, this new video is actually pretty neat. It transports you directly to the artwork’s current home — the Royal Museums of Fine Arts Belgium, which worked in partnership with the Google Cultural Institute — where it pulls you into the image. As a narrator explains the scene, which shows the moment a gold armor-adorned St. Michael expels the devil from paradise, you’re surrounded by the flapping wings of angels transformed into demons, of butterflies, and of hybrid monsters, some possibly inspired by Hieronymus Bosch, as your guide mentions. Above you, a swarm of beasts appears to spiral from the white heavens; below lies a murky darkness just visible past the crowd of waving limbs, claws, and tails.

 

The experience is part of Bruegel: Unseen Masterpieces, a collaborative project between Google Cultural Institute and eight major international museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frick Collection, London’s Royal Collection Trust, and Copenhagen’s Statens Museum for Kunst. Over 200 of Bruegel’s paintings, drawn from the collections of these institutions, were digitized and published online, allowing anyone with an internet connection to explore them through extremely high resolution images accompanied by detailed annotations.

The art-meets-tech experience also has a physical component at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts Belgium, where visitors may engage with the Bruegels on view through more virtual reality and screen-based projects. The museum’s officials launched the collaboration with Google in anticipation of the 450th anniversary of the painter’s death, which will be in 2019.

This was reported on HyperAllergic.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)