Today we’re introducing a new feature in Art Authority for iPad. We think it’s a meaningful and groundbreaking one. It’s called “Art Real Size.”

Traditionally, when works of art are reproduced in books, posters, Web sites and yes, even apps, they’re usually displayed as large as possible. Art Authority, as well as some other sites and apps, have supplemented this type of display with, for instance, a grid of small images (thumbnails) that includes similar works by the same artist or from the same period. Art Authority for iPad also displays the works framed and hanging on the walls of its professionally designed rooms, one of its most popular features.

Until now however, all these different ways of displaying the art overlooked one key fact: different works of art have different sizes. We all showed each work of art at essentially the same size as all the other works. Art Authority for iPad’s 65,000 paintings and sculptures all showed up at about 7 by 5 inches on an iPad in “full-screen view”, 5 x 4 when hanging on a wall, and less than an inch square when in a thumbnail grid. We  just haven’t been showing you the whole picture!

It’s true we, and many other sites, have a caption, which might say a work is 182.9 x 243.9 cm, or 9 1/8 x 6 7/8 in. But that really doesn’t mean anything to most people looking at the image, does it? “Art Real Size” gives real meaning to the real size of a work of art.

So how does Art Real Size accomplish its magic? It would be quite a feat to display most works of art real size on a 7 x 5 inch iPad screen (where is that holographic technology from Star Wars when you really need it?). But by adapting an old trick to a new device, we can do almost as well. In this case a picture is probably worth even more than a thousand words, so here are some examples:

We’ve also created a video, worth a thousand pictures.

See how well it works! You now “get” the whole picture. The people viewing the art provide the context needed for our brain to immediately understand the real size of the works. You can see what you’ve been missing! If you had gone to the Louvre and looked at the Mona Lisa, and then walked down the hall to The Raft of the Medusa, you couldn’t have missed this HUGE difference. But if you hadn’t, with just about any other presentation, you wouldn’t have had a clue. That’s what Art Real Size is all about.

And that’s what Art Authority is all about. Making a difference. As the #1 classic art app out there, we’ve been doing that for five years now. Art Real Size is just our latest and greatest.

Art Real Size is available in Art Authority for iPad 4.8, in the App Store today. And it’s on sale for half-price to celebrate! Updates from previous versions are of course free. Check it out, and see how size matters.