Art History in HD
October 4, 2010 2:43 PM   Subscribe

Haltadefinizione is a gallery of extremely high resolution pictures of some of the greatest art treasures.
posted by gman (22 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
I want to like this, but the format is just awful.
posted by Dumsnill at 2:58 PM on October 4, 2010


I was all excited! And then I was all d'awwwww....
posted by everichon at 2:59 PM on October 4, 2010


Thanks! Some real nice Italian craquelure there.
posted by Iridic at 2:59 PM on October 4, 2010


Just like an episode of CSI. Magnify that cherub. Enhancing... There's a reflection of the perp in his left eyeball. We've got our man!

The controls get in the way of looking at the images, but it's pretty cool to zoom in on an old master so close that you can see the paint cracks.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:00 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, I like it. I've been looking at The Birth of Venus fully-zoomed in and I keep finding myself amazed.
posted by Nedroid at 3:00 PM on October 4, 2010


I like the interface. Is there a reason women were painted to be so muscular? and some of the bits look really dodgy close up, I was expecting something quite different. It's cool though.
posted by shinybaum at 3:04 PM on October 4, 2010


Sorry, it is kind of fun when you get used to it.
posted by Dumsnill at 3:06 PM on October 4, 2010


I was looking at The Birth of Venus also and I was actually surprised by the imperfections. I'm probably not using the right painter-lingo terms for these, but I can see the erasures and colored-over outlines that were never visible at lower resolutions. It's surprising to see the sketchy parts in the finished product. But it helps me appreciate the art more as a human work. Very cool.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 3:20 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is it disrespectful to refer to the Birth of Venus as Venus on the Half Shell?
posted by Cranberry at 3:22 PM on October 4, 2010


Nice collection, and yes they're impressively high-resolution. But I do prefer art without superimposed computer icons.
posted by John Cohen at 3:34 PM on October 4, 2010


Is there a reason women were painted to be so muscular?

shinybaum: I've always personally attributed this to the homosexuality of the painter. Certainly Michaelangelo never painted a woman that didn't look to my eyes like a man with boobs painted on.
posted by IAmBroom at 3:45 PM on October 4, 2010


That is some amazing high resolution going on there. Highlights on Bacchus' wine glass turn out to be tiny chips in the paint!

I want to use this to find clues to secret ...stuff.
posted by longsleeves at 3:48 PM on October 4, 2010


"Professional internet user longsleeves clicked through the high-resolution images of the Haltadefinizione, and suddenly the pseudonymous man knew he'd found what he was looking for."
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 3:58 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, seventh circle of UI hell but it's almooost worth it. Once you click the full screen toggle on the far right it gets a tiny bit better.

The insights into style are phenomenal though. Case in point, just look at how Caravaggio could paint the hell out of a fingernail! (This is a snark free comment. It's seriously amazing.)
posted by jeremias at 4:10 PM on October 4, 2010


The painting shows a youthful Bacchus reclining in classical fashion with grapes and vine leaves in his hair, fingering the drawstring of his loosely-draped robe. On a stone table in front of him is a bowl of fruit and a large carafe of red wine; with his left hand he holds out to the viewer a shallow goblet of the same wine, apparently inviting the viewer to join him.

-those who are liking the idea of a) looking really closely at the painterly details, and b) enjoying the sense of 'behind the scenes' (previous lines, practice strokes, paintings on top of paintings, reused canvasi etc,.) should explore this page in depth... beware, really neat things abound here... [IR, UV, X-Ray, Microscopy {there is soooo much more 'information' in the things all around us than we can see with our physical senses}] and it is easy to get sucked into the other informative pages they have created at webexhibits.org. (ex. fascinating info on color theory [and histories of various pigments] here)
posted by infinite intimation at 8:55 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


English artist David Hockney made Caravaggio's working methods a central feature of his thesis (known as the Hockney-Falco thesis) that Renaissance and later artists used some form of camera lucida.
posted by infinite intimation at 8:59 PM on October 4, 2010


Man, leave it to mefi users to complain about this. Its probably time to re-watch that Louis CK sketch Everything is Amazing and Nobody is happy.

My wife was just trying to convince me that that is Caravaggio himself as a reflection in the carafe of wine. I'm not sure I agree but at least now we have the data and resolution to agree or disagree about.
posted by vacapinta at 4:12 AM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


> I want to like this, but the format is just awful.

What a damn lot of photoshop work this is going to be. I'm sure I don't have any panorama-stitching package that will handle that many screen caps. *sigh* Well, on with it.
posted by jfuller at 6:17 AM on October 5, 2010


Also, whose scripting do you have to allow before those interface buttons (+, -, arrows, pan, fullscreen, etc.) become functional? I've allowed:

wired.com
google-analytics.com
sharethis.com
tynt.com
fbcdn.net
2mdn.net
piclens.com
yimg.com
imsightexpressai.com
eyewonder.com
brightcove.com
doubleclick.net
facebook.com
sharethis.com
twitter.com
imrworldwide.com
apmebf.com

and turned off addblock plus. Every time I allow somebody and reload the page, here's somebody else knocking on the door wanting to run a script, seemingly without end. And so far the buttons, they do nothing.
posted by jfuller at 6:49 AM on October 5, 2010


In that Caravaggio of Baccus close in on the wine decanter to see someone's reflection.

This is great stuff!
posted by snsranch at 8:06 AM on October 5, 2010


What a damn lot of photoshop work this is going to be. I'm sure I don't have any panorama-stitching package that will handle that many screen caps. *sigh* Well, on with it.

There's no reason to screencap anything. You can download the tiles directly. There's an XML file for each painting (e.g.) that lists the tile URLs for each level of magnification, so for example the L6 tiles would be found at 1x1 through 149x124. You could download all of them with a single curl command, for example. As far as stitching, a single imagemagick command would put them together: montage l6_[01-149]_[01-124].jpg -mode Concatenate -tile 124x149 really_fucking_big_file.jpg.

As to the buttons not working, it's all a Flash object so all that JS stuff shouldn't matter at all as long as Flash is allowed.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:09 AM on October 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


The painting shows a youthful Bacchus reclining in classical fashion with grapes and vine leaves in his hair, fingering the drawstring of his loosely-draped robe ....there is soooo much more 'information' in the things all around us than we can see with our physical senses.

There is also a white hair stuck to and protruding from the canvas near the wrist of his right hand. I wonder if that's supposed to be there.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:04 PM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


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