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The unseen Ghent Altarpiece
July 30, 2011 8:25 PM   Subscribe

Using infrared reflectography, conservators at the Getty Museum have produced an infrared reflectogram of what lies beneath Jan Van Eyck's Ghent Altarpiece. In the site's current phase, you can see hi-res images of the altarpiece both opened and closed, and can compare two images at once. The Met offers further information about the altarpiece, while the National Gallery explains a smaller-scale project devoted to Jan van Eyck's portrait of his wife.
posted by thomas j wise (11 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
i always love these, they are beautiful and impt scientific documents too
posted by PinkMoose at 8:58 PM on July 30, 2011


what lies beneath

Aristotle's lost book on comedy hidden under a rose?
posted by stbalbach at 8:58 PM on July 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thank you for posting this.
posted by effluvia at 10:48 PM on July 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait, you can compare two different parts of the IR image, but you can't compare the IR image with the visible color original?

what is this I don't even
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:19 PM on July 30, 2011 [14 favorites]


I confess to being a bit confused by this as well. Infrared Reflectography is a standard technique now and has been applied to a large number of paintings. In fact, I'm currently reading Velazquez: The Technique of Genius which examines many of Velazquez's paintings using radiographs and IR to try to understand how he made revisions as he went along.

Did the IR in this case, reveal something about Van Eyck's painting? If so, it must be me, but I'm having trouble seeing it...
posted by vacapinta at 1:56 AM on July 31, 2011


couldn't favouite this enough. Thanks
posted by the noob at 3:37 AM on July 31, 2011


Anyone able to give me a short-attention-span overview, and point me to specific interesting things that the IR photos reveal?
posted by crunchland at 6:08 AM on July 31, 2011


Wait, you can compare two different parts of the IR image, but you can't compare the IR image with the visible color original?

Yeah, I was a bit disappointed by this too.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's hella cool that they did this, but whoever designed the web site they are using to promote this really, really doesn't get how....well, web sites work.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:02 AM on July 31, 2011


Did the IR in this case, reveal something about Van Eyck's painting? If so, it must be me, but I'm having trouble seeing it...

Mostly that it takes him a couple of tries to get arms and hands just right.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:03 AM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm not getting the point of that compare page, either. It's kind of a waste if you can't compare the visible-light and the IR on the same panel.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:21 AM on July 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ah, the portrait of his wife explains why Eve looks so weird. He married an alien and had no idea what human female bodies were like.

(And nthing the compare page. WTF?)
posted by DU at 6:35 AM on August 1, 2011


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