Sunday, January 23, 2022

Obscenely detailed scan lets you peer at Rembrandt’s Night Watch masterpiece online

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The Rijksmuseum has launched what it claims is the “largest and most detailed photograph of any artwork,” and it’s viewable without cost on its web site. The scan is of Rembrandt van Rijn’s 1642 masterpiece The Night Watch, a roughly 12 by 14 foot portray which is at the moment the main target of a large analysis and restoration mission known as “Operation Night Watch.”

The technical particulars of the scan are staggering. In a press launch, the Rijksmuseum explains that it’s made up of 8,439 particular person images taken with a 100 megapixel Hasselblad H6D 400 MS digital camera. Neural networks have been reportedly used to test every picture for colour and sharpness, and an AI system helped sew these pictures collectively right into a single picture.

The result’s a 717 gigapixel picture that’s 5.6 terabytes in measurement, the place every of its pixels reveals an space simply 5 micrometers in measurement on the unique portray. The museum notes that it’s 4 occasions sharper than the final scan that was put out by the museum, which was solely 44.8 gigapixels massive, and the place every pixel represented a relatively large 20 micrometers.

Image: Rijksmuseum

The affect is slightly mind-boggling, permitting you to zoom in to see the cracks which have appeared within the particular person brush strokes of this masterpiece. Arguably it’s a good higher expertise than seeing the portray within the flesh, since this software program permits you to essentially press your nostril up towards it in a approach that may get you thrown out of most museums.

If you’re prepared to sacrifice a little bit of decision, then the web site additionally has an alternative model of The Night Watch with the lacking cropped sides restored. These sections have been stripped from the portray in 1715, permitting it to slot in a extra cramped location in Amsterdam’s City Hall. These lacking segments have been restored final yr primarily based on a Seventeenth-century copy of the unique portray made by Gerrit Lundens. This work was additionally accomplished as a part of the identical Operation Night Watch mission.

The Rijksmuseum’s press launch notes that this scan will assist with analysis of the portray, particularly remotely. It also needs to enable researchers to trace how the portray ages going ahead with extra accuracy. With the scan full, the museum notes that it now plans to mount The Night Watch onto a brand new stretcher to right deformities within the canvas which have appeared, and that it’ll think about different “conservation treatments.”

The excessive decision scan of The Night Watch is viewable right here and the model with its lacking sides is right here. If that’s bought you within the temper for wanting at extra high-resolution scans of basic artistic endeavors, take a look at this 10 gigapixel scan of Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring.

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