Google lets you transform photos into a Van Gogh, Munch, Monet masterpiece

The Asian Age With Agency Inputs

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A new feature on its Arts and Culture app transforms the ordinary into extraordinary

On the Google Arts and Culture app, you can transform your photographs in part or fully to reflect Claude Monet's style, among the various artists featured. (Photo | Wikimedia Commons)

Chennai: While the lockdown has put a dampener on everything, here’s a small something to amuse yourself. You can transform any old photo into an artistic masterpiece using Google’s new feature on it Arts and Culture app.

Using the Art Transfer option, you can click a picture or use one from photos stored on your device and create a piece of art out of it, just like that. You can choose from a wide range of styles, from the iconic Scream of Edvard Munch and Water Lillies by Claude Monet to the style of the self-portrait of Van Gogh or Frida Kahlo.

Picasso is conspicuously absent, but the pop surrealistic style of Okuda San Miguel’s painting of Spain’s vibrant life, whose geometric designs seem inspired in parts by Cubism, is one of the choices you get to pick.

The colours and the shapes are a bit limiting as it is single paintings that are used as the reference to transform your images, but the app gives you a peek into how art can become more universal than high-brow.

The Arts and Culture app which has several other features such as viewing art in its original size, museum tours and so on, also gives you a nugget of information about the artists whose styles you choose to transfigure your photos with.

The Art Transfer feature introduced in an update on March 24 is actually not that new, although the present generation of users may not have known its long-time predecessor, the Prisma app, which too produced aesthetically enhanced photos that matched great artists’ styles.