If you are an art lover, your life is weighed down by coffee table books. They stack up and sprawl out way beyond the intended realm. In my case, the coffee table itself rests on a mound of art books, which also mass in mountains all around. Why? Because picture books have traditionally been the only way to keep good reproductions of art with you. In recent years they have got even bigger, as publishers supersize their Michelangelo tomes.
So, the rise of online art resources is a liberation. I love the way great paintings are becoming increasingly accessible on the computer screen. One innovation is the new site artfinder, which offers you the chance to build your own gallery of favourites from a vast and presumably growing store of digital reproductions of great art. As always with these ventures, it is important to realise it is not and cannot be complete. I found at least one surprising gap: although it has 30 works by Watteau, the site does not include his masterpiece Gilles.