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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

Printing creates 3D replicas of Van Gogh masterpieces

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Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

Sunflowers Relievo.
(Credit: Van Gogh Museum)

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has been working with Fujifilm to reproduce the artist's masterpieces in 3D, right down to the finest detail.

Chances are good you'll never be able to own an original Van Gogh — but, thanks to a new technique developed by Fujifilm Belgium, a faithful reproduction could be on the cards.

Called Reliefography, it uses a combination of scanning and printing technologies to recreate a work of art — faithfully replicating the size, colour, brightness and texture of the original work. It goes beyond the front of the canvas, though — the detailing extends to the back, where all labels and stamps have been recreated in detail.

The five reproductions in a collection created in collaboration with the Van Gogh Museum, called Relievos, are Almond Blossom (1890), Sunflowers (1889), The Harvest (1888), Wheatfield Under Thunderclouds (1890) and Boulevard de Clichy (1887).

Each painting was scanned in 3D before being printed in professional high resolution using Fujifilm UV inkjet printers and anti-counterfeiting technologies, with Fujifilm and Van Gogh Museum experts monitoring the process at every step and performing highly rigorous quality checks. Each Relievo has been approved by the museum's curator.

Rear detail of the Sunflowers Relievo.
(Credit: Van Gogh Museum)

The Museum will be using the Relievos for educational purposes in-house.

"Due to its restricted size and delicate nature, the Van Gogh Museum collection can only be enjoyed by a limited number of viewers," it said on its website. "By means of the Relievos, availability and accessibility of the works of art can be enhanced, which gives the museum the opportunity to realize its mission to inspire and enrich as large an audience as possible. Besides, viewers will now be able to come up close to a Van Gogh painting, even touching it. This opens up different perspectives, among them the use of the reproductions for the benefit of the blind and visually impaired."

Additionally, the reproductions will be available for members of the public to purchase, helping the Museum generate funds to renovate its new wing. The going rate is €25,000 (AU$35,568.32)

The Relievo collection is currently on display at Gallery by the Harbour in Hong Kong until 4 August.

Via www.fujifilm.eu



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