Lines and Colors art blog

18th century paintings meet Google Street View

18th century paintings meet Google Street View
A reditt and imgur user who lives in London and goes by the handle “shystone” has posted two series of photomontages in which 18th century pantings are superimposed over Google Street View images of the same scene, creating in each a sort of artistic portal into the past.

One set is of London, with paintings by various artists, the other is of Canaletto’s views of Venice (see my Lines and Colors post on Canaletto).

Shystone is apparently knowledgeable about both art history and the cities involved, and gives a bit of background on each superimposition, allowing you to follow up and research the painting if you wish. The images, if clicked on or dragged to the desktop, are large enough to get a view of the paintings, which look small in my captures above.

[Via The Guardian]


4 responses to “18th century paintings meet Google Street View”

  1. For those who try to argue that Hockney diminishes the achievements of old masters with his assertion that they used optical devices like the camera lucida and the camera obscura, for those who refuse to acknowledge that artists will always tend to avail themselves of whatever help technology can offer, these juxtapositions offer even more evidence of artists using optical aids to achieve their goals. I use an optical aid every time I paint. It’s a pair of glasses.

    1. I agree with you about the fallacy of Hockney’s assertions. Even sighting with your thumb against a pencil is an “optical aid”.

  2. Yeah, it is amazing how well they line up, provided they weren’t tweaked digitally. I love the idea here.

  3. Delighted to see this idea getting attention.
    We have been posting to Panoramio, Google Earth, Historypin, and for mobile, on site appreciation of the image, on Field Trip.
    Plus home-bond collections of thousands of paintings mapped to the artist’s vantage point. Search: geocoded Art