I read in Jonathan Jones’s column in today’s Guardian about  Google Art Project.  It works like the 3-D street-view part of Google Maps, except that you’re walking around some great art museums.  In addition, you can zoom in on the paintings; you can get a 15 cm-wide image of Captain Koch’s eyeball in The Nightwatch.  If you find that gratuitous, then zoom in on Lt. van Ruytenburch’s eyeballs, as I did, and see by comparing them how Rembrandt thought about drawing anatomy (or, at least, eyeballs).  That’s something you wouldn’t be able to do at the Rijksmuseum; the Nightwatch is so huge you’d need a stepladder to get anywhere near the figures.  Google has only catalogued a handful of museums so far.  I miss being able to take a butchers at the Velázquezs in the Prado, though Google will presumably be expanding their collection at a comparable rate to the maps’.  The Uffizi is already available; Jonathan Jones nudges us towards Piero di Cosimo’s painting of Perseus & Andromeda (above), which really is worth a detailed examination.

Update: I realise that if you blow up a detail of a painting, you can then take a screenshot to download it.  The resolution seems good; this is the tiny facet-headed sundial in Holbein’s The Ambassadors, at the National Gallery in London:

 

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