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Google uses VR to put you inside a Bruegel painting

360-degree video modernizes a 16th-century artwork.
Google uses VR to put you inside a Bruegel painting
Aaron Souppouris
Aaron Souppouris|@AaronIsSocial|March 15, 2016 1:58 PM

The Google Cultural institute has been working for half a decade to make the world's art accessible to everyone (with an internet connection). It's done a decent job of it so far, digitizing thousands of paintings and sculptures from hundreds of museums and galleries across the globe. More recently, it created a 360-degree video to put you inside the orchestra pit of New York's Carnegie Hall. Building on that experiment, it's now used a lot more creativity to produce a similar video for the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels, Belgium. A video that takes you inside Bruegel's The Fall of the Rebel Angels.

Google describes the project as "an experiment to explore how modern technology can supercharge the museum experience." Although anyone can view the 360-degree video on YouTube (it's also available through the museum's app), those visiting the exhibition will be in for a treat. There, they'll find the "Bruegel Box," a small room with wall-to-wall projections showing gigapixel renderings of three paintings. "Spectators walk in to find themselves literally in the picture, shoulder-to-shoulder with villagers, preachers and mystical creatures," the Cultural Institute explains.

Interestingly, only one of the paintings projected in the box is physically on display at the museum; the other two are hosted in Berlin and Budapest. Google believes this highlights the power of technology to improve the museum experience for visitors. You can find The Fall of the Rebel Angels below. It's best viewed with Google Cardboard and a compatible phone, but you can also watch it just fine on your laptop or tablet.

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Google uses VR to put you inside a Bruegel painting