June 28, 2015

Van Gogh Museum 3D prints fakes indistinguishable from the original

Filed under: Art,Technology by Branko Collin @ 5:42 pm


Would you like to own a ‘real’ Van Gogh without either risking bankruptcy or an entry in Interpol’s ‘most wanted’ list?

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam comes to the rescue. In 2013 the museum started a collaboration with Fujifilm to 3D print copies of famous Vincent van Gogh paintings that are said to be indistinguishable from the originals when viewed with the naked eye.

Every brush stroke is copied in these replicas (called Relievos) which go for about 25,000 euro each. Art historian Ko van Dun saw one last week and reports:

The copy is so good that it is indistinguishable from the original. Not nearly distinguishable, not even a little, just not at all. Yesterday I stood in front of one, an experience which left me flabbergasted. You are for all intents and purposes looking at a true Van Gogh – in my case The Harvest from 1888, one of the painter’s most famous works – with the exact same colours as the original, the exact same highlights, relief, everything.

So far [the museum has failed to] find customers, but that would seem to be a matter of time.

The possibilities of this technology boggle the mind. Van Gogh Museum hints at some of them when it alludes to its “mission to inspire and enrich as large an audience as possible”. In other words, next time you stand in front of a Van Gogh, it might not even be the original.

You can see some of the technology behind the 3D scans in this YouTube video.

(Link: Trendbeheer; illustration: extreme close-up of The Harvest via Van Gogh Museum)

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May 10, 2012

Van Gogh Museum buys its first Van Gogh in five years

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 3:49 pm

For the first time in five years the Van Gogh Museum has purchased a work of art by Vincent van Gogh. For the sum of 1.5 million euro, it scored a watercolour entitled ‘Knotswilg’ (‘Pollard Willow’), a particular work from Van Gogh’s The Hague period (July 1882) that has not been on display very often. The museum is proud to add it to its collection, as it didn’t have any works from that specific period.

A spokeswoman for the museum explains that while paintings are continuously on display, works on paper are sensitive to light, so they are showcased for a few months and then put in the depository to be shown again later, making them more special. The watercolour already shows some discoloration, but then that’s quite common.

(Link: www.at5, Photo of Van Gogh Museum poster by Elias Rovielo, some rights reserved)

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October 18, 2011

Vincent van Gogh did not shoot himself, biographers claim

Filed under: Art,History by Branko Collin @ 9:31 am

Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith just published a new biography of Vincent van Gogh in which they claim that the Dutch 19th century painter did not shoot himself, as is generally believed.

BBC writes:

[The authors] say that, contrary to popular belief, it was more likely he was shot accidentally by two boys he knew who had “a malfunctioning gun”.

The authors came to their conclusion after 10 years of study with more than 20 translators and researchers.

[…] [Stephen Naifeh] said that renowned art historian John Rewald had recorded that version of events when he visited Auvers in the 1930s and other details were found that corroborated the theory.

They include the assertion that the bullet entered Van Gogh’s upper abdomen from an oblique angle – not straight on as might be expected from a suicide.

Last Monday the Van Gogh Museum launched a biographical app on the life of the painter that presumably does not include this fresh light on his life and death. Museum manager Frank van den Eijnden nevertheless sees the book’s publication as a positive development according to De Pers: “Because of the news, the app is more current than ever.”

Earlier today the museum’s conservator, Leo Jansen, called the new theory about Van Gogh’s death insufficiently supported by the evidence: “Many questions remain unanswered.” Nevertheless he feels the authors—for which he reviewed a first draft—did a good job: “They looked at everything that was already known, and came up with many new insights and connections.”

(Illustration: the Van Gogh that was ‘discovered’ last year)

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July 3, 2009

Van Gogh’s paintings as shot by amateur photographers

Filed under: Art,Photography by Branko Collin @ 9:06 am

The Wiki Loves Art contest that I reported about earlier is over, and all that is left is for the judges to declare a winner.

One of the extraordinary things about this contest is that the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam opened its door to amateur photographers. That must have been a frightful decision to take, what with all the paintings worth millions just a camera stand leg away from scratching, so I hope it was a good experience for them.

Painting above is The Harvest (1888), photo taken by Flickr user Pachango. View the 4,500+ contest photos here, or just the 450+ Van Gogh ones here. (I edited the colours into oblivion, but I just could not agree with the red hue that Pachango’s version had, or the yellow hue on the museum’s website.)

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