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Rijksmuseum Reproduces Rembrandt's 'The Night Watch' in 717 Gigapixels

Currently the largest and most detailed image to date.

In efforts to maintain a prime historical work of art, Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands recently published Rembrandt’s The Night Watch (1642) in 717 gigapixels (717,000,000,000 pixels) which is currently the largest and most detailed image yet. In order to preserve artworks to withstand the test of time, museums need to accurately and meticulously refurbish intricate details that may have worn out or been damaged throughout the years.

Dubbed as Operation Night Watch, this publication of the painting will allow conservationists to examine the nitty-gritty particulars as 1 pixel is smaller than a human red blood cell. The entire file size of the photograph is 5.6 terabytes.

Lasers were used to scan the artwork followed by quality adjustments to the camera. Once captured, a neural network is used to confirm color accuracy and sharpness. The process of generating extremely high-quality photographs of paintings started in 2019 with the use of a 100-megapixel Hasselblad H6D 400 MS-camera to create 8439 individual 5.5cm x 4.1cm photographs which are then pieced together using artificial intelligence (AI) to form a 4m x 3m image.

The published photograph is quadruple the size of the original digitized edition which will allow experts to move onto the second phase of restoration with a new sense of precision.

Operation Night Watch can be viewed on Rijksmuseum’s website.

Elsewhere in art, Chiharu Shiota presented her largest solo exhibition in Shanghai.

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