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posted by Fnord666 on Saturday May 23 2020, @03:32PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the enhance-34-to-46 dept.

Revelations about Rembrandt's masterpiece captured on camera:

At 9am on Tuesday the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam posted an image of Rembrandt's The Night Watch (1642) on its website. Nothing particularly unusual about that, you might think. After all, the museum frequently uploads pictures of its masterpieces from Dutch Golden Age. But there was something about this particular photo that made it stand out just like the little girl in a gold dress in Rembrandt's famous group portrait of local civic guardsmen.

The web image presents the painting unframed on a dark grey background. It looks sharp and well-lit but not exceptional in terms of photography.

Until, that is, you click on it, at which point you're zoomed in a bit closer.

Click again and you're propelled towards the outstretched hand of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq. Another click, and you're face-to-face with the leader of this group of not-so-merry-men.

Once more, and you can see the glint in his eye and the texture of his ginger beard.

At no point does the image start to pixelate or distort, it's pin-sharp throughout.

And it remains so as you continue to click, getting further and further into the painting until the Captain's paint-cracked eyeball is the size of a fist, and you realise that tiny glint you first saw isn't the result of one dab of Rembrandt's brush, but four separate applications, each loaded with a slightly different shade of paint.

And then you stop and think: Crikey, Rembrandt actually used four different colours to paint a minuscule light effect in the eye of one of the many life-sized protagonists featured in this group portrait, which probably wouldn't be seen by anybody anyway.

Or, maybe, this visionary 17th Century Dutchman foresaw a future where the early experiments with camera obscura techniques, in which he might have dabbled, would eventually lead to a photographic technology capable of recording a visual representation of his giant canvas to a level of detail beyond the eyesight of even the artist himself!

It is, quite frankly, amazing.

For instance, I've always liked the ghostly dog that turns and snarls at the drummer situated at the edge of the painting. I'd assumed the hound was unfinished and therefore unloved by Rembrandt, but now I can see by zooming in that the artist not only gave the dog a stylish collar, but also added a gold pendant with a tiny flash of red paint to echo the colour of the trousers worn by the drummer.

The story notes the painting is so large that the people in it are basically life-sized.


Original Submission

Related Stories

717 Gigapixel Rembrandt Image 25 comments

AI turned a Rembrandt masterpiece into 5.6 terabytes of data:

A high-resolution image of Rembrandt's Nightwatch is now online. 717 gigapixels (yes, giga) to a claimed resolution of .0005-millimeters.

Last week the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam posted an AI-constructed, ultra-high-res image of "The Night Watch" by Rembrandt. The original piece is nearly 15 feet long and more than 12 feet high and has been under intensive restoration since the early 1900s.

They've actually reconstructed some parts that had been destroyed over the ages, based on historical records.

Is a pixel size finer than the hairs on Rembrandt's brush enough detail for you?

Previously:
(2020-05-23) Revelations About Rembrandt's Masterpiece Captured on Camera


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23 2020, @03:37PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23 2020, @03:37PM (#998164)

    I zoomed in too far and can't get out. It's all eyeballs!

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by deathlyslow on Saturday May 23 2020, @05:16PM (2 children)

      by deathlyslow (2818) <wmasmith@gmail.com> on Saturday May 23 2020, @05:16PM (#998189)

      Yeah well here's the controls.

      Mouse
      Gesture Action
      left-click Zoom in on location of mouse cursor
      Shift + left-click Zoom out from location of mouse cursor
      scroll wheel Zoom in/out on mouse cursor location
      left-click + drag Pan view
      move mouse In curtain-view mode: move the curtain division
      In fade-view mode: change the relative mixture amounts of the panes

      Keyboard
      Key Action
      0 Completely zoom out all panes
      1 Fade to image 1
      2 Fade to image 2
      3 Fade to image 3
      4 Fade to image 4
      5 Side-by-side view
      6 Curtain view
      7 Fading view (move mouse to adjust mixture amounts)
      u Get viewer URL to reproduce this exact view
      z Zoom to rectangle
      l (lower-case L) Toggle locked synchronization between panes
      s Toggle image-selection dropdown on each viewer pane
      q Toggle auto-following of cursor in curtain or fade modes (lock curtain position or image mixture amounts)
      - While held down, zoom in smaller steps
      = While held down, zoom in larger steps

      Touchscreen
      Gesture Action
      drag Pan view
      drag on division
      between panes In curtain-viewer mode, move the division
      tap Zoom in to tapped location
      two-finger pinch Zoom in/out
      three-finger touch Instantly move curtain division to the barycenter of the touched points

      • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Saturday May 23 2020, @07:36PM

        by captain normal (2205) on Saturday May 23 2020, @07:36PM (#998226)

        Or you can simply hit "shift" + click to reverse zoom step by step.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday May 24 2020, @05:22AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 24 2020, @05:22AM (#998366) Journal
        What's the key combo to use a health pack and sweep with your machine gun side to side? I was never any good at FPS art.
  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23 2020, @03:43PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23 2020, @03:43PM (#998166)

    Never heard of him.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23 2020, @05:09PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23 2020, @05:09PM (#998186)

      This was the fifth ninja turtle that didn't make it through the transition.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23 2020, @07:59PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23 2020, @07:59PM (#998229)
    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23 2020, @10:04PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23 2020, @10:04PM (#998277)

      * sigh * Millenials...

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Saturday May 23 2020, @03:56PM (1 child)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 23 2020, @03:56PM (#998170) Journal
    I notice that a couple of the partially obscured faces looked much like Rembrandt would have looked, if the painting had been done ten years later. One in particular has the lower part of the face obscured by an outstretched arm, with the eyes of the face looking directly at the viewer.
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday May 24 2020, @05:23AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 24 2020, @05:23AM (#998367) Journal
      But apparently, he's the dude in back center with a beret and a single eyeball peering out.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23 2020, @03:59PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23 2020, @03:59PM (#998173)

    He did it because he knew it would be there and he wasn't satisfied with a job half done. That others enjoyed his work was a secondary benefit.

    • (Score: 2) by Bot on Sunday May 24 2020, @03:22AM

      by Bot (3902) on Sunday May 24 2020, @03:22AM (#998335) Journal

      The obsession with details of the autistic nerd is well known. Of course, one should look at his bio to see if he was dodo as the other van something guy. I'd count vaccines out because they probably didn't have them nor of course lace them with crap.

      --
      Account abandoned.
  • (Score: 4, Informative) by TrentDavey on Saturday May 23 2020, @05:17PM (1 child)

    by TrentDavey (1526) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 23 2020, @05:17PM (#998191)

    528 individual digital photographs that have been seamlessly stitched together...

    ... 44.8 Gigapixel image ...

    • (Score: 0, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23 2020, @09:52PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23 2020, @09:52PM (#998274)

      Next up, goatse :)

      Little bit closer, little bit closer... my God, is that a fleck of shit? Let me check that out.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Saturday May 23 2020, @05:27PM (5 children)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 23 2020, @05:27PM (#998194) Journal

    I am very glad to hear that the author thinks it perfectly ordinary for a museum to put a high quality scan of a painting online, freely available, no paywalls, no DRM. Attitudes are changing.

    As recently as 10 years ago, lot of museums acted like their displays were gold, and to photograph anything inside was tantamount to robbery. Didn't matter that the item was out of copyright. They'd whine that they wouldn't be able to sell postcards and such like gift shop items. No one would want to visit in person when they could just see everything online. I can understand a ban on flashes, on the notion that the light could damage the pigments, but they often impose a blanket ban on all photography. Some, I'd guess, still think that way.

    More recently, I encountered a museum's display of items from someone's private collection, in which for some reason they felt obliged to play copyright police on behalf of the owner. No photos allowed of those items. Everything else, yes. Though all the items were out of copyright, somehow it was a violation of the rights of the owner of that Van Gogh painting to take a photo of it. Seems the owner imposed that condition on the museum as part of the agreement to allow the museum to display the items.

    Anymore, I check beforehand what a museum's attitude is. If they do not allow photographs, then I simply do not visit.

    • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Saturday May 23 2020, @08:02PM

      by captain normal (2205) on Saturday May 23 2020, @08:02PM (#998231)

      I do hope there is more stuff like this from now on. I'd never seen this work except in art books, so this is very interesting. Things like the dead chicken hanging on the girl's belt or the young boy running behind a guard (lower left) with his left hand on the handle of a large knife I'd never noticed.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23 2020, @09:50PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23 2020, @09:50PM (#998273)

      Just fucking look at the the fucking paintings.

      Last time I went to a concert, douchbags were standing there filming the show with their cellphones. Sit the fuck down or fucking at least enjoy the fucking moment you pricks. As if you're going to go home and watch 2hr of jerky low quality recording pfft.

      Like I said, the LAST time I went to a concert.

      • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Sunday May 24 2020, @12:42AM

        by captain normal (2205) on Sunday May 24 2020, @12:42AM (#998314)

        May be the last time any of us goes to a concert or any mass crowd event, at least till we get a handle on this virus.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 24 2020, @03:34AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 24 2020, @03:34AM (#998341)

      I know some some museums forbid it on grounds that many people who try to take photos are egotistical assholes, morons, or plain subhumans. Like, say, the US couple that was in court here in Stockholm just a few weeks ago, because they felt that the museum was "denying them their right" when they forbade flash photography, in a room with lots of old light sensitive textiles on display(the room actually has special lighting, just to decrease damage to the textiles). Or, as has happened in other museums, where the morons lose all sense of space, and walk into other objects, or deny other visitors access in their attempts at taking photos.

      So, Bziptardo, you might want to consider if you yourself might not be part of the reason why many museums restrict or totally prohibit photography.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday May 24 2020, @05:25AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 24 2020, @05:25AM (#998368) Journal
        Why show any art at all when there are stupid people in the world?
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by maggotbrain on Saturday May 23 2020, @09:01PM (1 child)

    by maggotbrain (6063) on Saturday May 23 2020, @09:01PM (#998254)

    This is a wonderful achievement. I hope this work will continue with documenting all works of art.

    I remember almost getting kicked out of the Guggenheim many years ago when I knelt down to approach an Egon Schiele in order to see how he had painted a particular hand. I was in awe, in the moment, and completely forgot that there was an 'etiquette' to appreciating fine art.

    There is really nothing quite like being in the presence of a masterpiece; but, this work does a great service to the world for those who can't go to the source material.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by inertnet on Saturday May 23 2020, @09:26PM

      by inertnet (4071) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 23 2020, @09:26PM (#998265)

      You can get really close to the original, but it's usually very busy in front of it, so it's not easy to see as many details as in this ultra zoom version.

      The actual painting is overwhelming, but the original was even larger. It was cut on all sides around 1715, to make it fit on a wall somewhere. The cutoffs are lost [wikipedia.org].

  • (Score: 2, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23 2020, @09:31PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23 2020, @09:31PM (#998268)

    This difference is embodied in so many different elements of society today. I am a vehement capitalist because I believe competition betters man and people deserve the fruits of their labors. Yet I am equally vehemently against consumerism. Consumerism leads people to make stupid decisions which, in turn, feeds on this pursuit of money as an end as opposed to quality as an end. And over the years I think it is becoming increasingly obvious that consumerism simply makes people stupid. They become weak, dependent, and led from one trend to another in a way not so different from how a shepherd directs his flock.

    • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23 2020, @09:58PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23 2020, @09:58PM (#998275)

      Uh huh, uh huh, just writing that down. And would you say you're important to this discussion or is the whole thing completely about you?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23 2020, @11:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23 2020, @11:45PM (#998305)

      I am a vehement capitalist because I believe competition betters man and people deserve the fruits of their labors.

      anti-socialism

      Yet I am equally vehemently against consumerism. Consumerism leads people to make stupid decisions which, in turn, feeds on this pursuit of money as an end as opposed to quality as an end.

      anti-liberalism

      And over the years I think it is becoming increasingly obvious that consumerism simply makes people stupid. They become weak, dependent, and led from one trend to another

      decadence narrative

      in a way not so different from how a shepherd directs his flock.

      a hint of anti-conservatism

      hmm... it needs a more powerful statement of anti-conservatism, and you haven't nominated a hated enemy

      you will not gain newsletter subscribers until you develop your ideas further

  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 24 2020, @10:02PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 24 2020, @10:02PM (#998584)

    Are you enjoying COVID-19, Boomers? I hope you are, because your political response to the pandemic has completely destroyed the economy. Did we really need a Great Recession in 2008 caused by you, and a Great Lockdown in 2020 caused by you? Are you proud of yourselves for creating an economic depression even worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s? Are you proud of yourselves, Boomers? Your legacy will be economic ruin for all. You don't care as long as you Boomers continue to receive your pensions. You Boomers don't have jobs. You Boomers don't create jobs. You Boomers don't do anything for anyone ever. You Boomers are utterly worthless parasites. You don't care about anybody except yourselves. Everybody except you is forced at gunpoint to wear a facemask while you Boomers sit in your giant mansions laughing and waiting to die when you will be buried with your fortunes so nobody will ever touch your precious money.

    Boomers did COVID-19.

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