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Exploring Art with Widgets

Although art may not be an obvious area to use BookWidgets in, you can create some fun and interesting explorations of paintings with widgets.

Describing Paintings Interactively

Most paintings have a lot going on in them. Describing and understanding where each little feature of a painting can be found can be challenging. This is where a Hotspot Image can come in handy.

Take, for example, Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s Netherlandish Proverbs: this painting illustrates over 100 different proverbs in a single scene. By putting these scenes in a widget, you can browse all of them easily:

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Netherlandish Proverbs (Pieter Bruegel the Elder)

Instead of just adding textual descriptions to a painting, you can take this to the next level by adding music, video, and entire external web pages. For example, if you want to illustrate how The Sources Of Country Music by Thomas Hart Benton describes the origins of country music, you can add bits of music and video to the various instruments, together with some extra description bubbles:

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The Sources Of Country Music (Thomas Hart Benton)

Illustrating Painting Restoration

Another aspect of art is that paintings get restored. A Before/After widget can clearly illustrate the effects of such a restoration. It becomes even more interesting when some surprises are revealed during the process, such as with the View of Scheveningen Sands by Hendrick van Anthonissen

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Restoration of View of Scheveningen Sands (Hendrick van Anthonissen)

Sometimes, one can even find entire paintings hidden underneath another layer of paint, such as the bearded man behind Picasso’s Blue Room:

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Hidden Painting below Blue Room (Pablo Picasso)

Introducing kids to paintings

Finally, widgets can also help introducing art with children. For example, a fun thing to do is put a painting in a Jigsaw Puzzle widget, and let them get acquainted with the painting by solving a puzzle. For example, the naive Peacable Kingdom painting by Edward Hicks makes for a nice puzzle for kids:

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Peacable Kingdom (Edward Hicks)

Published by

Remko Tronçon

Software Engineer · Hobby musician · BookWidgets