Home LATEST NEWS HIGH TECH An unprecedented 717 gigapixel digitization of a Rembrandt available online

An unprecedented 717 gigapixel digitization of a Rembrandt available online


In order to achieve such image quality, the Rijksmuseum says it used 8,439 individual photographs of the work, captured using a 100-megapixel Hasselblad H6D 400 MS camera.

To assemble all these images into one, the museum used an artificial intelligence system. Artificial neural networks were also used to verify the color and sharpness of each photo, according to a statement.

Result: the file, hosted on the Rijksmuseum websiteHave (New window)Have and accessible free of charge, is 5.6 terabytes in size. The image is also four times sharper than the museum’s last scan 18 months ago, which had an image quality of 44.8 gigapixels.

An asset for research

The night watch, painted in 1642, is the subject of extensive research and restoration at the Rijksmuseum.

Having access to such a high quality work allows you to take a closer look at the fine details on it, ranging from cracks to brushstrokes. The research team can therefore study the painting in every nook and cranny and from a distance, with greater accuracy than in a studio. According to the press release, the team will also be able to follow the evolution of the painting with more precision.

Achieving this image was a big challenge. A lot of people thought it was impossible […]. Our team went above and beyond in what can rightly be described as a world class achievement.

A quote from Robert Erdmann, Principal Scientist at the Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmmuseum site brings together other high-quality digital works of art, including The girl with the pearl by Johannes Vermeer, available in 10 gigapixels.

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