In months past, Google has dressed up its search engine logo in a range of guises – a Norman Rockwell painting, a confusing barcode design, even a tableau featuring UFOs. The latest Google "doodle," which appeared this morning on the Google search page, is an expressionistic sketch of four violins, each colored to represent the passing of the seasons, from spring to summer, fall to winter.
The seasons theme, as any classical music buff will tell you, honors the birthday of the Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, a Baroque composer who would have turned 332 years-old today. To our knowledge, the Vivaldi doodle marks the second time a Google logo has been devoted to a legend of classical music. The first was Igor Stravinsky, the Russian composer – turned naturalized American citizen – who died in 1971.
But Vivaldi is almost certainly more well-known than Stravinsky. In fact, Vivaldi is one of the handful of "household" names in the classical canon, up there with Bach, Beethoven, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Vivaldi's most famous composition is "The Four Seasons," a sweeping series of violin concertos which evoke the icy sharpness of winter, the glimmer of spring, the heavy heat of summer, and the colors of autumn.
Kudos to Google for capturing Vivaldi's work so nicely.
In related news, Google recently announced the third annual "Doodle for Google" contest, which gives kids a chance to design a logo for the search engine homepage. You've got to be somewhere in the kindergarten to 12th grade range to enter, but other than that, the only thing you've got to do is hew close to this year's theme: "If I Could Do Anything, I Would..."
Deadline is end of May. The winner gets the honor of seeing his or her art on the Google homepage, a $15,000 college scholarship, a laptop computer, and a $25,000 technology grant for their school. Not too shabby.