Monday, October 04, 2010

high definition venus

I'd be remiss if I didn't share this wonderful website, Halta Definizione, that lets a person get up close and personal with some of the greatest works of art, including my all-time favorite painting and permanent avatar, Botticelli's Venus, or Venus on a half shell, as I like to think of her.

Venus botticelli detail

I first tripped across the site via Flavorpill (via Boing Boing), so I'm sure it's making the rounds, but it is worth another finger-pointing. I've spent hours at the Uffizi, parked in front of this painting and I have never seen it quite like this. It's almost indecent. Sandro Botticelli certainly never got quite this close, but computers can allow us to view not just the brushstrokes, but what the brushstrokes contain. You can practically see the pigment floating in the medium.

I'm not sure ultimately, if this sort of deep close-up is good or bad for the art experience, but I have to admit that it is fascinating to get lost in the details. For the study of art and art-making, and for future Old Master restorations this will undoubtedly prove to be an invaluable tool.
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