Saturday, January 23, 2021

The Map with a Pearl Earring

Many museums and art galleries around the world now use interactive mapping interfaces to allow visitors to explore individual works of art online. Presenting paintings as zoomable images provides a unique perspective which gives the viewer the opportunity to study a work of art in impressively close detail.Using the navigating methods of panning and zooming (which users are familiar with from using Google Maps), art lovers can study a painting at their leisure.

The level of detail revealed by an interactive painting interface is only limited by the resolution of the image and the number of zoom levels provided by the interface. If the original painting has been photographed in megapixels then the interactive painting interface can allow the user to zoom in on the smallest strokes of the artist's brush.

The Girl With a Pearl Earring is one of Vermeer's most famous works. Last year The Mauritshuis art museum in the Netherlands asked Hirox Europe to photograph Vermeer's masterpiece at the level of 4.4-microns per pixel. Such a detailed image of the painting allows the museum to assess the surface condition of the painting, observe cracks in the paint, and help evaluate past restorations of the painting.

You can evaluate the painting for yourself on Hirox Europe's interactive map of The Girl With a Pearl Earring. This interactive map allows you to view the painting in unprecedented detail. Zoom in on the painting and you really can see individual the cracks in the paint. 

The image of the painting captured by Hirox Europe is about 10,118 megapixels. Ten areas of the painting were captured in even more detail using a Hirox 3D microscope. Using the Hirox interface you can explore these ten areas as a 3D map. Doing this reveals the topography of the painting so that you can actually see the height differences of the paint used on different areas of the portrait.

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