Prado’s Museum App Lets Viewers See Underneath Its Masterpieces’ Paint

Prado’s Museum App Lets Viewers See Underneath Its Masterpieces’ Paint

Second Canvas lets people explore 14 of the museum's masterpieces at a highly detailed level.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 7 may 2014

There are many different ways of appreciating a painting. You can look at it from a comfortable distance to see the work of art in its entirety or step closer to observe exquisite details like brush strokes and texture. However, it may not always be possible to scrutinize a painting in detail in most museums since visitors can only get close to an art piece at a certain distance, especially if the piece is a very valuable masterpiece.

Now there’s a new app that lets users go deeper into some of the masterpieces at the Museo del Prado in Spain.

The museum has released an iOS app called Second Canvas Museo del Prado that lets users peer into the details of 14 of the masterpieces housed at the museum. The app was created in partnership with Madpixel and allows users to view the masterpieces at a very detailed level that used to be only experienced by curators and art restorers.

Second Canvas lets users zoom in on the paintings, as well as use the app’s x-ray and infrared vision functions to see the layers of paint, the construction underlying the canvases, and the even the artists’ sketches under all that color and paint. It helps people see details that may not be noticeable right away or things that they may not have noticed in the painting the first time they saw it.


The app lets users study 14 masterpieces in ultra HD and explore more than 60 related works of art. The app includes extra details about each masterpiece like links to additional info, an audio guide, and a sign language guide. Users can then share their art discoveries on Facebook, Twitter, and via email.

Second Canvas is available for the iPhone and iPad, but it can also be connected to a TV or a projector for a large screen viewing experience at home or at school.

The app doesn’t really replace the experience of actually seeing the paintings in person, but it creates a new way of appreciating and understanding the pieces. It is also a great way for those who can’t physically visit the museum to see what the museum has to offer.

The app can be downloaded from the iOS app store for $3.99.

Second Canvas
[h/t]: The Telegraph


Why The Apple Watch Is Taking Foot In The Restaurant Industry

Food Today

Chef Turns Invasive Species Into Delicious Sushi

Creator Bun Lai is adapting strange new ingredients for his menu, which responds to the ecological impact of overabundant creatures in the local environment

Travel Today

Build Your Own Subway System In This Minimalist Game

Mini Metro lets you design your own fully functional transit network, simulating the flow of urban commuters with pared-down visuals


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Work Today

Keyboard Designed To Help Women Use More Assertive Language

The device is a commentary on gender roles in the workplace, and features easy access to "power verbs" that help reinforce a habit of being direct in writing

Arts & Culture Today

Spanish Artist Dreams Up What Animals Would Look Like In Modern Clothing

Yago Partal's portraits depict the fantasized style preferences of creatures worldwide, from an Arctic wolf to a zebra

Related Expert

Tasha Blank

DJ / Dance Catalyst

Fitness & Sport Today

New Data Technologies Make Hyper-Personalized Training A Reality

The Sports Debrief from PSFK Labs looks at how analytics tools are being developed to optimize human performance across all industries

Technology Today

IBM Watson Helps Grammy-Winning Producer Craft An EP

The computer system's data technology generated musical scores for Alex Da Kid's first solo project

Travel Yesterday

30-Year-Old Photographs Used As Travel Guides

A new photo series revolves around tracing the origins of images from the past


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

General Electric: Lighting’s Impact On Sleep Is More Than The Off Switch

Jeff Patton, General Manager of Connected Home Products at GE Lighting, uncovers how lighting technologies can affect our sleep cycles

PSFK Labs october 25, 2016

The Keys For Exceptional Performance On And Off The Field

PSFK Labs' new report highlights five important insights for businesses to perform better than the competition

Children Yesterday

IKEA Is Letting Kids Design Its New Line Of Toys

The products are taken from fanciful drawings that showcase the imagination of those who use it most

Technology Yesterday

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Health Yesterday

VR App Prescribed For Pain Relief

A pharmacy chain in Sweden is stepping away from tradition to develop a happy place for the pain-afflicted

Retail Yesterday

Banks Are Coming Together To Create A New Payment Network That Rivals Venmo

A number of financial institutions are collaborating to make a new person-to-person monetary system called Zelle for their customers

Media & Publishing Yesterday

Pocket Camera Aims To Facilitate The Struggles Of Live Streams

The Mevo helps resolve the complexities of streaming video with an intuitive setup and smart editing controls

Health Yesterday

Startup Believes Traceability Will Help Disrupt The Multivitamin Industry

Ritual is a daily supplement for women that traces every ingredient back to its source

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Photo Series Brutally Murders Some Of Your Favorite Fast Food

The portraits by artist duo Ilka & Franz do away with mealtime regulars in a way that is both beautiful and humorous

Mobile Yesterday

Coffeemaker Teaches You How To Make The Perfect Cup

The device comes with an accompanying app that guides novices and experts alike through the brewing process

No search results found.