British Museum, London
The interactive museum website allows visitors to view its collection according to areas of interest – from the region to the medium. Visitors can also browse through the highlights, which include a mid-20th century wooden shield from West Papua, Raphael’s drawing for his painting of the ‘Virgin and Child’, and the Lewis Chessmen (1150-1200) made of ivory. The museum also shares stories of its collectors. There are podcasts on a range of subjects, including scientist Kate Fulcher’s research on the ancient Egyptian coffin residue ‘black goo’, and an exploration of how women have interacted with the museum since its opening in 1759.
Louvre Museum, Paris
One of the world’s most visited museums, many of its exhibits can be seen online. There’s Leonardo da Vinci’s much-recognised Mona Lisa and Eugene Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People. There are also virtual tours of three of its galleries. While the Egyptian Antiquities section has collections from the Pharaonic period, Galerie d’Apollon, destroyed by fire in 1661, features ceilings with renowned paintings. A tour of Louvre’s Moat tells the tale of its past. Built as a fortress by French king Philippe Auguste in 1190, it was intended to protect Paris from an attack.
Uffizi Gallery, Florence
Designed by Giorgio Vasari in 1560, the Uffizi Gallery is home to several celebrated works of art, specially from the Renaissance period. Its collection can be viewed online on Google Arts & Culture. Search for Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus in a section dedicated to the Italian artist, and also look for Federico Barocci’s prints and drawings. Learn about Piero di Cosimo’s Perseus Freeing Andromeda, Cimabue’s The Santa Trinita Maesta, and Amico Aspertini’s drawings.
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Home to the biggest collection of paintings by Vincent van Gogh, most of the works, including his much-celebrated Self-portrait (1888) and Sunflowers (1889), can be viewed online. Each work is accompanied by a detailed description. Apart from the Dutch master, the showcase also includes works of some of his contemporaries and artist friends such as Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard. The museum website also shares the artist’s letters and school lessons based on his work.