Can you identify this painting in the Marygrove Library? Google Goggles did.

Can  you identify this painting?

[Image from Metropolitan Museum of Art]

Yes, you can? Our hats are off to you!

No? Well, don’t feel bad, we couldn’t either. Three of your librarians met in the Rare Book Room last week and saw with fresh eyes what had been on the wall for years: a print of a beautiful painting which looked vaguely familiar, as if we should know the painter and the title. We racked our brains but couldn’t find an answer…

…So librarian Jennifer Meacham used an app on her iPod called Google Goggles to take a picture, scan it, and find a match on the web. After a moment’s search, the app gave us the answer we’d been looking for: this is a print of an 1898 painting by Edwin Austin Abbey called “King Lear,” Act I, Scene I. Fun bonus: Jennifer is a huge Shakespeare fan. :-)

Interested in learning more about the Goggles app? It uses image recognition technology to recognize objects and return relevant search results. You can:

  • Scan barcodes to get product information
  • Scan QR codes to extract information
  • Recognize famous landmarks
  • Translate by taking a picture of foreign language text
  • Add contacts by scanning business cards or QR codes
  • Scan text using Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
  • Recognize paintings, books, dvd, cds, and just about any 2D image
  • Solve Sudoku puzzles

If you have an Android or an Apple device, you can download Goggles here:

About Marygrove College Library

The mission of the Marygrove College Library is to be a partner in the educational process, sharing especially in the College's mission of educating each student toward intellectual and professional competence and toward career flexibility through grounding in the liberal arts. The library, in an environment conducive to research and learning, provides access to resources and services that serve primarily the educational and information needs of the students, faculty, and staff of the college.
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4 Responses to Can you identify this painting in the Marygrove Library? Google Goggles did.

  1. Jane Hammang-Buhl says:

    This is really exciting. I know how long people at Marygrove have wondered about this print.

  2. Kathleen Green says:

    Do you know the Dogs (white) name in the print? I was told years ago and cannot remember what it is. kg

    • In the play, Lear’s dogs are “Tray, Blanche, and Sweetheart” — but the names aren’t given until much later. Blanche means white, so maybe that’s her? (That’s a guess.) I don’t know that there’s a dog specifically in this scene, though, so its presence may just be symbolic, i.e. representing loyalty, perhaps. Another theory is that the dog represents truth. Later in the act, the King’s Fool says: “Truth’s a dog must to kennel; he must be whipped out when the Lady’s Brach may stand by th’fire and stink.” Basically, telling the truth (like Cordelia did when she sincerely but modestly expressed her love for her father) gets you punished and sent away while the bit**es who fill the air with lies are kept in warmth and comfort (i.e. her nasty sisters).

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