FIAT LUX! Photonics to the benefit of art!

UNESCO has declared 2015 the year of light, to spread knowledge and awareness on how this is, in its broadest sense, from LED light bulbs to X-rays, through optical fibers, an excellent resource for addressing global challenges concerning health, sustainability, growth and … ART!
During the grand opening ceremony in Paris attended by five Nobel Prize laureates, two speeches were devoted to art, to paintings and how light enlivens them and can reveal their secrets.
Alessandro Farini from the Institute of Optics (INOA) of Florence, presented fascinating optical illusions and the play of light that show the importance of good lighting to enjoy the great beauty and illustrated the discoveries of infrared reflectography on Caravaggio’s work.
Art and optics (video) was also the theme of Charles Falco, intrigued for years, along with David Hockney, by the appearance of optical instruments in the workshop of painters. A thesis introduced by Roberta Lapucci and shared bySusan Grundy, all scholars with whom Art-Test has got to collaborate and share exciting discoveries.
Light and interaction with the works of art are at the heart of our work, and we are glad that these techniques have received such an important recognition.


In the above picture (by Jovan Mizzi) you can recognize Charles Falco, David Hockney and Anna Pelagotti during the symposium organized in Florence in 2008 by Roberta Lapucci and titled “Painted Optics”, which saw the practical demonstration of the legitimacy of these considerations, also thanks to the darkroom provided by Art-Test!

Outside of the camera obscura at SACI in Florence, with the lens of the projections systems visible through the opening on the side

Inside the camera obscura: a round mirror mounted on a tripod and the canvas on which the image is projected
The scene outside of the camera obscura
The reversed projection on the canvas of the same scene. A limited depth of field can be noticed, with many areas are out of focus.