Saturday, October 9, 2010

More Ultra-High Resolution Images from HAL9000

Italian company HAL9000 has added more images to its portfolio of ultra high-resolution images depicting Italian Renaissance art, with the latest additions coming from the Uffizi Galleries.  A while back I wrote about HAL9000's 16-billion pixel image of Leonardo's Last Supper. Their recent additions include Caravaggio's Bacchus (3.4 billion pixels), Verrocchio and Leonardo's Baptism of Christ (11.7 billion pixels), Leonardo's Annunciation (10.3 billion pixels), Botticelli's  Birth of Venus (20.4 billion pixels) and Primavera (28 billion pixels), and Bronzino's Portrait of Eleanor of Toledo (4.8 
billion pixels).

Nothing compares to standing in a gallery in the Uffizi with one of these masterpieces, but at the same time the features we can see here are not possible to witness in person.  These are the macro views that only a conservator might see in such dazzling detail, like brushstrokes, craquelures, the dirty fingernails of Bacchus, or the light reflecting off of a single pearl. The small price we pay is a little patience while waiting for the pictures to load, and tolerating the 
presence of the Haltadefinizione watermarks.

For more information about HAL9000 and the process used to photograph these works, see this post over at Wired.

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