Rembrandt Goes Digital

I have often wondered what some of my heroes from back in the day would have thought about the whole digital revolution. Would many of them have embraced the technology and utilized it for a whole new movement? If so which ones? There is no doubt that the mainstream would have scoffed and that an image using pixels instead of paint would have been banned from the high-end shows. The mere thought of a pixel entering the Louvre would have over run the nearest hospital with heart patients. (…still does)

That being said I was delighted to see a new digital spin from an old master. The Complete Rembrandt Lifesize is a new exhibition that opened last year in Boesingheliede, near Amsterdam, Netherlands. Full sized digital reproductions of all known paintings (317 of them), 285 etchings and more than 100 drawings can be viewed in much like they left Rembrandts studio. How cool is that?

Through digital artistry we will have the ability to see the full painting where there was a sizeable piece of canvas missing, the vibrancy diluted by time is re-instated, and hidden details not viewable because of aging pigment now emerge into view.

The digital imaging of each of the 687 reprints was supervised by Professor Ernst van de Wetering. The photos were made under strong light and digitally processed. The post processing made it possible to visualize details that would normally not be seen by the average museum visitor.

What is really cool about this exhibition is the images are organized chronologically. The exhibition brings together works from more than 100 museums and collections around the world. We can get a glimpse into Rembrandt’s mind. It follows his 45-year evolution from a young painter to possibly the most famous master of his day.

The Complete Rembrandt, Life Size exhibition will run through September 7th. A cursory check of cheap flights revealed $500-880 round trip. Amsterdam anyone?

Digital Painting? Nah, not really but the original article by CCTV is posted here.


  1. A good and interesting question, but the original article is from July 2009. Can you visit this exhibition nowadays .
    I heard that it is closed.

    • G-I did some research a few days ago and I believe you are correct as the original installation appeared to have an end date. The other info about it that I found was in dutch and I could not read it.

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