Do I think that Cézanne changed how people saw a landscape in France in the last century? For sure! Do I think Warhol changed how we see contemporary society...? For sure! You could just go through the history of art...and immediately you conjure up something you yourself could not have expressed and it fulfills in each of us something we lack.– Richard Serra, contemporary artist, SFMOMA video
A thousand years ago, most people never saw an image. People who lived in a town might have seen art in their local church or temple but only the very wealthy could own images. In the sixteenth century, Henry VIII sent the painter Hans Holbein across the channel so he could see what a woman he was considering for marriage looked like. Throughout history, images were anchored to a place. Today, images are everywhere and infinitely reproducible. They may even be surpassing text as the dominant form of communication.
But what is the language of art?
How do the images we encounter on the street or on the walls of galleries create meaning? Art museums hold the key, but until recently, they have been accessible only in person. The Google Art Project attempts to provide more access to Museums and works of Art.
The Google Art Project is an initiative to provide thousands of high quality, high resolution images from museums across the globe in one place, making art’s history, meaning and beauty available in ways never possible before.
Do you speak the language of art?
Dive into the Look like an Expert sections and test your visual acumen or get creative with the DIY projects. Want to learn more? “What’s Next” will point you to some of best art and art history tools on the web. Get started–but don't keep all the fun to yourself. Make your own quizzes, and share your User Galleries and your DIY creations on Google+.