Johan George Wille - L’observateur distraitOnce in a while, we would like to point to some outstanding examples of online galleries, which consist of more than just some selected reproductions of famous prints, but which offer some added value

This time, it is the ImageBase of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Not only does it contain engravings and etchings of almost all the old masters, it also allows to browse through the extensive collection of 85’000 images (not only prints, to be honest). It is an example of a well considered and simple, but neatly designed presentation of the images.

The images are presented with detailed informations about artist, title and bibliographical links. The most exciting feature though are the zoomable pictures. This is a precious feature when examining details of an engraving or etching. As an example, take a look at the engraving L’observateur distrait by the German artist Johan Georg Wille (1715-1808), which is a charming variation of our Homo bulla theme. Click on “Zoom this image” to, well, zoom into the image in order to explore the fine details of the engraving.

An useful hint for bloggers with the need to offer a similar feature for their online galleries: Zoomify EZ is a free Shockwave tool for splitting up a picture into tiles for a fast online zooming experience.