Rembrandt’s Night Watch is considered one of the masterpieces of art history. And now you can see it at the highest resolution ever.
Human beings have one of the best vision systems in Nature, at least when it comes to color. That facilitates activities like the artBut our vision also has many limitations.
One of the most accused is poor ability to see detail. A limitation that we can overcome with the help of technology.
The museum Rijksmuseum has created the photograph of a painting with the highest resolution in history: 717,000 Megapixels, that is to say, 717,000,000,000 pixels. It has so much detail that each pixel is as tiny as a human red blood cell.
The distance between two pixels is only 5 micrometers (0.005 millimeters).
The team used a 100 megapixel Hasselblad H6D 400 MS camera to make 8,439 individual photos measuring 5.5 cm x 4.1 cm.
Artificial intelligence was used to stitch these smaller photographs together and form the final large image, with a total file size of 5.6 TB.
The painting chosen to be immortalized with this level of detail is a masterpiece: Rembrandt’s Night Watch, whose official name is The Military Company of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq and Lieutenant Willem van Ruytenburgh.
It is a large painting, 3.63 × 4.37 meters, painted around 1642, and has a curious story behind.
As its official name was very long, in the 19th century it began to be called The Night Watch.
The painting, which was 200 years old by then, had been darkened by varnish and dirt, and the characters were hardly visible. Because it was believed to represent a group of guards patrolling at night.
When they restored the work in 1947, they discovered that the characters were actually illuminated by a ray of sunlight: the scene is depicted in broad daylight.
But the name of La Ronda de la Noche was already so popular, that it stayed that way.
Is 717,000 Megapixel photography it will be of great help to investigators to discover all the secrets of the painting.
It will also be vital to maintain its purity when it is restored in the future.
In this Rijksmuseum website you can enjoy photography in all its splendor.
See if you can find the scars left by the stab wounds he suffered in 1975, by a mentally unbalanced.
It was not the only attack. In 1985 another museum visitor sprayed it with acid, fortunately only damaging the varnish.