Digital Rembrandt Show Restores Lost Details

Controversial reproductions aim to show the works at they were
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 1, 2009 8:30 AM CDT
Digital Rembrandt Show Restores Lost Details
The artworks, reproduced in their true size, have been digitally enhanced by a leading Rembrandt expert to restore the color and detail they had when they left Rembrandt's studio nearly 400 years ago.   (CYNTHIA BOLL)

The life work of Rembrandt, including all 317 known paintings, goes on display next week in full-sized digital reproductions that attempt to re-create the works as they emerged from the artist's studio. The Complete Rembrandt, Life Size, in Amsterdam, restores sections lopped off of canvases, transforms colors, and brightens up darkened paintings. But not everyone is happy with the idea of passing off posters as art, the AP reports.

Rembrandt's famous The Night Watch, which the show's curator calls "a ruin" of its former self, is here seen with several militia men that had been cut off of the left side as the painting was trimmed over centuries. The exhibition's organizers have been accused of seeing no qualitative difference between a reproduction and the real thing. But Rembrandt himself was an ardent copyist, the curator says: "He would have been very happy if he had known we were doing this." (Read more Rembrandt stories.)

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