Google Lets You Explore Bruegel Artwork In VR


If you happen to be an art aficionado, you’re likely already quite familiar with the work of Bruegel the Elder, a Flemish painter who is widely regarded as one of the best in the world. His art is known to contain details, layers and mysterious elements that are hard to spot, in some cases invisible to the naked eye. Museum goers where his pieces are featured can be seen leaning as close as the display cases will allow, appraising the entire length of the painting with looks of deep thought and scrutiny. Such a painting, as you may guess, would likely be one of the ripest out there for the Google Cultural Institute’s special brand of virtual reality-enabled widespread availability, which includes compatibility with Google’s own Cardboard headset.

For museum-goers at the main partner museum in this venture, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels, Germany, a wholly more immersive new way of experiencing the painting is available. Ultra-high resolution imagery of the painting is projected all over a small, boxlike room. The result is museum goers finding themselves face to face and toe to toe with all manner of landscapes, peoples of old and even mythical creatures; if it was in the imagination of Bruegel, it can end up inside this room. Three paintings are available in this room, only one of which is housed inside the museum. For a tamer experience, a terminal is located in front of the painting provides an experience similar to what the folks at home can get.


Viewable on YouTube, one of the paintings is featured on Google’s announcement page. The painting, “a fall with the Rebel Angels”, takes you on a rotatable tour of the inside of the painting, showing a pitched angelic battle from an insider’s perspective. As the video twists through the painting, users can use their mouse, touchscreen or head tracking-enabled VR device to scan their surroundings and watch the brawl unfold in the maelstrom from whatever angle they want. Check out the source link for the full announcement, or give the video below a look for a comprehensive view of the works of one of the world’s greatest artists, with or without VR equipment.