Google app lets you see all of Vermeer's paintings for free via AR

Google's Arts & Culture app uses augmented reality to reveal more about the Dutch master's paintings, including Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Learn more about Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window, and other paintings by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, with Google's latest app feature Pocket Gallery.
Google Arts & Culture

With Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer's masterpieces on display in 18 museums in 7 countries, there's no way to see all of his paintings in one place. 

But a new augmented-reality feature called Pocket Gallery in the free Google Arts & Culture app lets art fans step into a virtual exhibition space to see and learn about all 36 of Vermeer's paintings up close.  

The app is curated by the Mauritshuis museum in the Netherlands, which has Vermeer's best-known painting, Girl with a Pearl Earring, in its collection.

Art lovers can also use the app to take guided tours that reveal the history behind Vermeer's other paintings, including famous works such as The Art of Painting.

To get the best images for the app's new AR feature, Google used an ultra-high-resolution robotic camera called the Art Camera

Pocket Gallery includes interviews with art experts who explain the 17th-century artist's work and life. These include Tracy Chevalier, who wrote the best-selling historical novel Girl with a Pearl Earring.  

One of the more interesting aspects of the app is that it features one of Vermeer's paintings called The Concert that was famously stolen 28 years ago from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. 

Estimated at over $200 million, The Concert is still considered one of the most expensive missing paintings on the FBI's list of stolen art

The Google Arts & Culture app is available to download for iOS or Android

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