MASTERPIECES by famous British artists were beamed onto a Tyneside building last night.
The spectacle at Northumbria University’s Wynne Jones Centre was part of a BBC and Public Catalogue Foundation campaign to raise the profile of publicly-owned paintings.
Onlookers in Newcastle saw super- sized projections of Coming from the Mill by LS Lowry and Mr and Mrs Andrews by Thomas Gainsborough.
The centre was one of 28 buildings and landmarks across the country taking part in the Your Paintings project.
Works of art including Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers appeared on buildings including Exeter Cathedral, Carrickfergus Castle and George’s Dock Building in Liverpool.
The projections mark the start of a month-long series of exhibitions and events which also celebrates the completion of the Your Paintings website, which shows the entire UK national collection of over 210,000 oil paintings.
Held in over 3,000 galleries, museums and other civic buildings around the country, these paintings span more than 600 years of art history but due to limitations on exhibition space, 80% are normally held in storage.
Now, hundreds of paintings not seen by the public for generations go on display from now until the end of February.
Among them is one of the last paintings by Pitman Painter Jimmy Floyd, the 1974 Frozen Pit Pond, which is on show for the first time at Woodhorn Museum in Ashington, Northumberland. The collection will be available to view online, it includes lesser-known works like Cornish painter Harold C Harvey’s 1923 work The Clay Pits.
Saul Nassé, BBC Learning controller, said: “The idea that we could put on virtual display all the UK’s paintings was madly ambitious, but thanks to a brilliant partnership with the PCF, we’ve realised that ambition.
“Your Paintings is a thing of beauty and I’m hoping the events that we’re rolling out right across the country are going to inspire thousands more people to learn about these wonderful paintings.”
Andrew Ellis, from the Public Catalogue Foundation, said: “No other country has ever embarked on such a project to make accessible online its entire collection of oil paintings.
“The result is an extraordinary rich and varied virtual gallery of paintings with styles and subject matters to suit all tastes and interests.
“Anyone can now contribute to the project by tagging paintings so that the paintings can be searched in future.”
More information is available at www. bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings