This week, Google added a Vermeer gallery to its Arts & Culture mobile app, providing a new, AR-powered way to enjoy the complete works 17th-century Dutch painting master from a single location.
“Now, you can experience all of Vermeer’s known artworks in one place for the first time,” Google’s Lucy Schwartz writes. “Pocket Gallery, a new feature on the Google Arts & Culture app, uses augmented reality so you can pull out your phone and step into a virtual exhibition space to see all of his works, curated by experts from the Mauritshuis museum in the Netherlands and other cultural institutions guarding Vermeer’s legacy.”
And guarding is legacy is sadly necessary: As you may know, a Vermeer painting was among those stolen in the infamous and still-unsolved 1990 heist of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. And the rest of Vermeer’s masterpieces are scattered across 17 collections in seven countries.
The Pocket Gallery uses AR to create a miniature gallery with several rooms full of Vermeer’s works. You can move from room to room, pivot around in real time to view paintings on the wall, and zoom in on each and learn more. It’s worth checking out for sure.
And if Google Arts & Culture sounds familiar, that’s because it is perhaps most famous for the “Art Selfie” feature that Google previously added to the app. I was positive I had written about this app since I recall using this feature, but I must have just posted the results to Twitter.
You can download Google Arts & Culture for free from the Google Play Store. Or, if you’re an iPhone user, from the Apple App Store.