Artists possess the uncanny ability to make the simplest of experiences special. Carel Fabritius, a Dutch painter from the mid-17th century, is celebrated on this digital site for doing just that: making history with a little bird. Because of his work—paintings of a goldfinch—a common bird has become a conversation centuries later.
The site uses a dark black background and thin white and gold fonts accented by a gold logo to introduce users to pieces of art and the master behind them. The scheme draws attention to the colors and shades within the art and keeps site elements simple for easy navigation. Like a digital museum exhibit, the site uses effects and design features with small buttons to direct users to turn up their device’s volume, select a language, and scroll to navigate a storytelling experience about the art.
Soothing classical piano music swells and drops in the background as users scroll, and a British voice interjects with minute-long narrations. Scrolling pulls up one section of a page to replace it with a new one, and a small set of white circles in the upper left of each page gives users a sense of how far they have journeyed through the exhibit.
Users can pause the narration feature to continue scrolling with just the music, or they can click underlined page titles to read drop-down panes with paragraphs of written content. In the panes, the text is set against a familiar dark background, and a small thumbnail of the featured art is highlighted. Stunning, fullscreen samples of the art fully immerse users in the experience.
From the content to the presentation, every page of this website design is full of surprises and subtleties. On some pages, a digital sample of the art moves, and a goldfinch chirps, hops, and flies away from a floral-covered branch. On other pages, a bird perches and blinks beside interactive text boxes and sound features. A 3D model of the painting process explores various versions of the famous works, and moving illustrations tell the story of the artist’s life and death and the journey of his art.
A final page with more three-dimensional effects links users to another site where they can see available exhibitions of more famous works from the Golden Age at the Mauritshuis Museum. From beginning to end, the site design demonstrates the story of the art in classy and creative approaches, relying on current technology to thoroughly introduce users to a simple beauty of the past.
Mauritshuis is a beautiful website design in the Arts & Recreation and Entertainment industries.