Looking under Rembrandts skin

written by Hans Meijer, 4 October 2013, filed as article

A painting is a 2D object, everyone knows that. Wrong! Tim Zaman, Ph.D. candidate at the Delft University of Technology, constructed for his graduation project a 3D scanner and took a closer look at several masterpieces from Rembrandt and Van Gogh. By printing those scans with a 3D printer.

SKG_9204He proved that paintings are actually 3D objects. For instance, Rembrandt now and again added some half dry paint to his works to enhance the effects he was seeking for. In just a short performance, being interviewed by the host of the day Spike Jan Bouwsema, Tim explained that nowadays when we look at paintings of the great masters, they are often affected by time. “The painintings  dont look like the painter painted them anymore”, Tim stated.

Bouwsema invited young women from the audience who was really into art and painting to come on stage and feel the 3D print of a Van Gogh. “You can really feel a structure”, she said. “This is exciting. You can’t come any closer to a real Van Gogh than this!” And when she said she liked colourfull paintings, Tim reffered to the change paintings undergo during the ages. “Rembrandts paintings were much more colourfull whenhe just finished them. Thanks to the 3D scan possibilities and other modern techniques we can now see what the composition is really like and how he painted. We get a whole new look at a lot of famous painters this way.”

by Hans Dalmeijer

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