For most of us, it’s a long trip to see the works of Johannes Vermeer, the Dutch Golden Age painter behind Girl with a Pearl Earring.
Google is making those works accessible on your phone with its Arts and Culture app, where you can use augmented reality to visit a virtual art gallery full of Vermeer’s works.
The pocket gallery is accessible in the Meet Vermeer section of the app, which compiles all of the painter’s works in one multi-room exhibition, in what’s been described as “the first ever international online retrospective” of Vermeer.
The project combines 36 paintings from 18 museums across seven different countries, and you can wander through the gallery’s rooms, which have been curated to tell the story of the painter’s artistic development.
Aside from the pocket gallery, another neat feature in Meet Vermeer is the ability to examine the artist’s most famous masterpiece, Girl with a Pearl Earring, up close, allowing you to view each brush stroke as if you were really standing right in front of it.
Or you can take a guided tour of the painting, which has been put together by Dutch art gallery the Mauritshuis, the real home of the masterwork.
It’s a pretty neat way to get to know one of the world’s most renowned artists in one location. Given Girl with a Pearl Earring last sold for $30 million in 2004, making a real life Vermeer retrospective like this a pretty damn expensive proposition.
Google has previously made art galleries accessible virtually through its Museum Views feature, which gives users a Street View-like experience through spaces like New York’s Museum of Modern Art, to the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris, France.