The Next Rembrandt is unveiled

Friday, April 8, 2016
The Next Rembrandt is unveiled

The Next Rembrandt has been unveiled in Amsterdam: a 3D printed painting, made solely from data of Rembrandt’s body of work. Thus bringing the Master of Light and Shadow back to life to create one more painting. Only this time, data is the painter, and technology the brush.

The Next Rembrandt is unveiled

The Next Rembrandt has been unveiled in Amsterdam: a 3D printed painting, made solely from data of Rembrandt’s body of work. Thus bringing the Master of Light and Shadow back to life to create one more painting. Only this time, data is the painter, and technology the brush.

Rembrandt van Rijn (15 July 1606 - 4 October 1669) is considered one of the world’s greatest painters and a key figure in Dutch history, representing the Golden Age of painting in the Netherlands. A prolific artist, he produced 346 paintings that we know of, as well as numerous drawings and etchings. Rembrandt continued creating art right up to his death in 1669.

The portrait was created through a highly detailed and complex process (involving a team of data scientists, developers, engineers and Rembrandt experts) which took over 18 months and resulting in 150 gigabytes of digitally rendered graphics. The project is a cooperation between presenting partner ING Bank, advertising agency J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam, supporting partner Microsoft and advisors from Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), The Mauritshuis and Museum Het Rembrandthuis.

It all started with the data. The first step to making The Next Rembrandt, was analyzing all 346 of Rembrandt’s paintings using high resolution 3D scans and digital files, which were upscaled by a deep learning algorithm. Supporting partner Microsoft contributed their cloud platform Azure to host and analyze this data, which formed the basis for The Next Rembrandt.

Then came determining the subject. The majority of Rembrandt’s entire collection is made up of portraits, which is also the most consistent subject.

Together with Rembrandt experts the demographic segmentation of the people in these portraits was defined. Ending up with the subject: a portrait of a Caucasian male between the age of thirty and forty, with facial hair, wearing black clothes with a white collar and a hat, facing to the right.

As Bas Korsten of J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam confirmed to Artdependence Magazine, the painting is of 70.2 cm by 55 cm.  To bring the painting to life, an advanced 3D printer that is specially designed to make high end reproductions of existing artwork was used. In the end, 13 layers of UV-ink were printed, one on top of the other, to create a realistic painting texture.

TU Delft (leading institution when it comes to reproductions of paintings) and Mauritshuis are examining if this technique can be used for restauration, and if it is also possible applying this technique on other artists' work who passed away.
 
As the Team of "The Next Rembrandt" states, it is still remains a secret, where the work will be shown in the future.

All images are courtesy of "The Next Rembrandt". More information is here.

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Luc Tuymans, Flemish Village 1995.  Collection MuHKA, Antwerp

Luc Tuymans, Flemish Village 1995. Collection MuHKA, Antwerp

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