Google has launched Art Project, basically a version of Street View which allows you to wander round a museum rather than the streets of a town.

Art Project allows lazy or broke art-lovers to take a virtual tour of 17 of the world’s most famous art museums, including the Tate Britain and The National Gallery in London, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA in New York, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

Using Google Art Project, you can zoom in on paintings to see high levels of detail, right down to the brush-strokes.

Google reckons that Art Project tours might even be better than visiting a museum in person as one exhibit in each location will be available in a high-resolution image that goes beyond “what is possible with the naked eye”.

The high-res image will capture a painting in around seven billion pixels, making it 1,000 times more detailed than the image taken by an average digital camera.

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The Tate has chosen Chris Ofili’s No Woman No Cry, a painting on elephant dung containing tiny images of murdered London teenager Stephen Lawrence within a woman’s tear drops, as its high resolution image.

In total, Google Art Project includes more than 1,000 pieces by some 400 artists.

Viewers can wander around the museum or select particular pieces of art from a drop-down menu. It’s also possible to create a custom collection of your favourite art.

Have a look at your favourite museum on Google Art Project.

The National Gallery

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Palace of Versailles

Van Gogh Museum