Pre-Raphaelite art online

By on 29/06/2009 in News

Pre-RaphaeliteBirmingham Museums and Art Gallery has launched a website showcasing its world famous Pre-Raphaelite collection.

Birmingham has the largest public collection of Pre-Raphaelite art. It can now also boast the largest online collection of Pre-Raphaelite art in the world.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery will be the first museum to offer an unrivalled resource for studying the art of the Pre-Raphaelites, using Microsoft's cutting-edge Silverlight technology to bring pixel perfect definition to the screen, as if seeing the real artwork in a museum.

Over 2,000 fine and decorative artworks with never before seen clarity will be available through Silverlight, a plug-in that offers the Pre-Raphaelite website and its users an amazing Deep Zoom functionality.

This means a viewer's study of any artwork is perfection on a screen, even on some seeing frays in the canvas, pencil etchings or brushstrokes. The plug-in will give users a never before available opportunity to analyse Pre-Raphaelite work and for users' personal collections, the ability to zoom in on several images at once.

Led by the Birmingham City Council, the project was funded with help from the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) to help research, provide photographic equipment and develop the website. The depth of the collection is remarkable and Pre-Raphaelite fans will have no better site to visit than the Pre-Raphaelite Online Resource.

When using the pioneering deep zoom technology to navigate John Everett Millais' The Blind Girl (1856), the results are outstanding. The plug-in allows you to go so close that the somewhat inconspicuous note under the lady's shawl, saying, 'Pity the Blind,' suddenly takes a centre stage on your screen. And with this ability to zoom so close into the painting without any blurring, it is easy to absorb the detail and lavish colours used by the world-acclaimed artist.

Each click onto individual artworks uploaded on this beautifully contructed website, oozing with a mono-esque look enhanced by the colours of the iconic art movement's works, illustrate the Pre-Raphaelite style through a thoroughly indulgent interactive format. An aesthetic gem, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery have achieved this through an exhaustive process that has taken nearly two years of cataloguing and research and almost one year of photography. The process is still ongoing.

Councillor Martin Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, said: “This is about bringing Birmingham's world class collection of Pre-Raphaelite art to a world-wide audience using the latest digital technology. This should increase the number of virtual visits to the Museum and Art Gallery and can only enhance the city's reputation internationally as a centre for culture.”

Click here to visit Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery’s Pre-Raphaelite Online Resource.

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