Rembrandt Today?

April 15, 2017


The #portrait is of someone imaginary but is realistic to the naked eye - a man dressed according to 17th century fashion.  A century that witnessed both the rise of a strong #Dutch Empire, and the birth of its most famous son: #Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rij.


The Delft #University of #Technology has unveiled a portrait that could have been created in the 17th Century, but wasn't; and could have been done so by Rembrandt himself, apart from the 'small detail' that it was painted 347 years after the death of the renowned painter! Confused? The explanation is simple - it was done by a 3D printer, enriched with all the necessary commands to faithfully reproduce the Master's technique.


"What makes a Rembrandt a Rembrandt?" This is the key question that this project tried to give answer to.


To discover the secrets of the Dutch Master Painter, researchers scanned a great number of Rembrandt's paintings, and carefully examined them using digital image processing and algorithms to detect patterns and ultimately the #technique Rembrandt used to paint the portraits.


Why is the world talking about the portrait? Because using the data gathered from the Rembrandt analysis, researchers were bold enough to instruct the #computer to 'imagine' how Rembrandt would portray a white middle-age Dutch man.  After creating the image, a #3D print of it was able to preserve the visual effect of the ink's relief and texture in a painting.


Ultimately, the world has one more Rembrandt portrait because it has mimicked the Master Painter’s technique, but cannot be considered a true Rembrandt because it wasn't Rembrandt himself who painted it.


It would be interesting to know how Rembrandt would feel about this portrait and the technology involved in its creation, and I'm sure he would be amazed at what technology can create.

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