A 10-Billion-Pixel Scan of ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ Captures More Detail Than Your Eyes Ever Could – Gizmodo2 min read


Check out the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague, The Netherlands, and youll have a chance to see Johannes Vermeers painting, Girl with a Pearl Earring, from perhaps a couple of feet away– depending on the crowds around the popular piece. Or you can explore this website that offers access to a massive 10-billion-pixel scan of the painting with more detail than the human eye might ever see in person.The scan was produced last year by Hirox Europe (a business that makes digital microscopes) at a resolution of 93,205 x 108,565 pixels, which totals up to 10,118,800,825 tiny photos of the painting each covering a location of simply 4.4 microns in size. As with a lot of gigapixel images, the digital copy of Girl with a Pearl Earring was produced by assembling a collection of shots all focusing on different areas of the painting, which in this case totaled up to 91,000 individual photos snapped throughout a single night. Utilizing custom-made software application established by Hirox, assembling all those shots into one image was an automated process.The specular highlight on the girls eye at full resolution.Screenshot: Hirox EuropeThe scan offers an extraordinary look at the painting in more information than any art fan would care about. But more significantly, it gives art historians and preservationists a better appearance at the condition of the paintings surface along with the state of previous restorations, which will help inform and guide future restoration and preservation attempts.Hiroxs digital microscope wasnt pushed to its maximum abilities, nevertheless. In addition to scanning the entire painting, the team produced even higher resolution scans of 10 specific areas where every pixel represented just a 1.1 micron speck of the entire piece. Not just were high-res snippets of the painting developed during this extra scanning procedure, but likewise a 3D representation of its surface revealing how small paint chips have warped and curled at the edges over time.G/ O Media may get a commissionIt might sound compulsive, however understanding what occurs to popular artworks like Girl with a Pearl Earring with time (the painting is now 355 years of ages at this moment) at a near-microscopic level is a crucial part of ensuring that in another 355 years, future generations will be able to take pleasure in the original also. If they cant, at least theres now a perfect digital copy.

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