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A Tumblr Sees Museums Through the Eyes of Art

'What They See' is a Tumblr that offers a new point-of-view on iconic works of art—literally.

by Emerson Rosenthal
15 January 2015, 2:30pm

The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer by Edgar Degas. Images via

If Mona Lisa could talk, what would she say about having to smile at six million new people per year? What They See is a Tumblr that gives a new perspective on classic artworks by showing, as the title suggests, what sculptures and paintings like Marsyas by Balthasar Permoser and Thérèse Dreaming by Balthus see from their own points-of-view. In the case of Degas' iconic The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer by Edgar Degas, for example, the titular youth's ballet pose offers her a permanent upward view of an archway at the Tate Liverpool. Herakles the Archer by Émile-Antoine Bourdelle, another work on the site, looks down his outstretched arm's length, aiming his massive bow at an unsuspecting sculpture at the Met. 

"You visit museums to see works of art. Have you ever wondered what they see instead?" the site asks. Now, more than wondering, you can put yourself in an artwork's shoes and see for yourself. 

Below, selections from What They See: 

Herakles the Archer by Émile-Antoine Bourdelle

Marsyas by Balthasar Permoser

Thérèse Dreaming by Balthus

Marble bust of a youth by Unknown

Head over to the What They See Tumblr for more. 

H/t 5IT by Alexis Madrigal

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