10-Billion-Pixel Panorama Reveals The Extremely Up-Close Details Of Vermeer’s ‘Girl With A Pearl Earring’

“Girl with a Pearl Earring” is an iconic 1665 oil painting by the Dutch Golden Age painter Johannes Vermeer. Throughout the years, the painting has been called many different names before landing on its present title, pointing out the large pearl earring worn by the woman, some time in the 20th century.

In 2018, Emilien Leonhardt and Vincent Sabatier from Hirox Europe, with the support of Abbie Vandivere, carried out a close-up examination of the painting in which they used a 3D microscope to create an incredible 10-billion-pixel panorama of it.

More info: YouTube | micro-pano.com

“Girl with a Pearl Earring” is a 1665 oil painting by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer

Image credits: micro-pano

The creation of this fascinating panorama was a part of an in-depth examination of the painting called “Girl in the Spotlight” that took place at the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague, Netherlands, back in May 2018. The goal of this part of the project was “to learn more about Vermeer’s painting technique, to evaluate surface condition, measure cracks and topography of various key areas.” The whole process was documented and then uploaded to YouTube by Hirox 3D Digital Microscopy.

In May 2018, an in-depth examination of the painting was carried out at the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague, Netherlands

Image credits: Hirox 3D Digital Microscopy

To learn more about Vermeer’s painting technique, the researches used a 3D microscope to create an incredible 10-billion-pixel panorama of the painting

Image credits: Hirox 3D Digital Microscopy

“The images were captured using the Hirox 3D digital microscope. First, Emilien Leonhardt and Vincent Sabatier set up the microscope in front of the painting to photograph and examine interesting details: her eyes, lips, pearl, and dots in her costume,” the painting conservator Abbie Vandivere explains in her blog post.

This resolution allowed them to see the painting down to the level of 4.4 microns per pixel

Image credits: Hirox 3D Digital Microscopy

“Then, for a couple of days, the Girl got to relax and lie flat on her back. Overnight, the painting was placed horizontally on a table while the microscope scanned the whole surface from a motorized stand above her,” Vandivere explains. “This created a 10-billion-pixel panorama image at 35x magnification. Then they took some close-ups at 140x, giving us amazing scans of these details in 3D.”

Some bits and bobs from the process were documented and uploaded to YouTube

blob:https://delaramartdesign.com/f5c57407-a29a-4cc6-aa5e-a8347ab4e479

Image credits: Hirox 3D Digital Microscopy

Here you can see a close-up of the pearl

Image credits: Hirox 3D Digital Microscopy

One of the details that were examined was, of course, the famous pearl. “At high magnification, you can see that Vermeer painted the pearl with only a few brushstrokes of lead white. On top of the shadow of the Girl’s neck, he applied a thin grey scumble to lay in the shape of the pearl. He applied lead white more thickly to make the crisp droplet-shaped highlight towards the top,” Abbie Vandivere writes in her blog post.

And here are the details of the girl’s eye

Image credits: micro-pano

The girl’s eyes were thoroughly examined as well. “A translucent red layer peeks out from underneath the pink paint at the left corner of her eyelid. Under the grey-blue colour of iris sits a black circle. Vermeer applied small touches of paint at a final stage: a pink blob at the corner of her eye, and a thick white highlight next to her pupil,” Vandivere writes.

The team has also created a website that allows anyone to check out the close-up of the painting as well as its 3D view

Image credits: Hirox 3D Digital Microscopy

The team that carried out the examination has launched a website that allows anyone to view the whole panorama, revealing individual brushstrokes and pigment particles of the painting in full-screen. In addition, the 3D map of the painting is also available on the website.

Image credits: Hirox 3D Digital Microscopy

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Follow Bored Panda on Google News!164 Lukas GarnelisAuthor, BoredPanda staff

Lukas is a photo editor at Bored Panda. 4th year in Vilnius Gediminas Technical University as a graphic designer. Can do whatever he sets his mind to. Read more »

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