A new Rembrandt. 3D printed

The quintessence of Rembrandt.

The subject of the painting (a white man, aged between 30 and 40, with beard and moustaches, typical eyes, nose, mouth, facial proportions and dressed in the characteristic Dutch clothes), the brushstrokes, the shading of light.. all formal values point towards one painter: Rembrandt.

No part betrays an imitator, or may reveal a forgery. However, it is a fake. Indeed an ingenious experiment that challenges the limits of imagination.

‘The next Rembrandt’ is a project sponsored by the Dutch banking group ING which has designed and launched a seemingly crazy challenge: imagine and produce a masterpiece that Rembrandt’s could have painted if he had not died 347 years ago. The subtitle indeed reads: “Can the great master be brought back to create one more painting?””

A study performed together with Microsoft, the University of Delft and the Mauritshuis Museum, during 18 months, with 346 paintings studied and acquired digitally.

The result is fascinating. “If I would have seen it in a museum I’d believed that it was a genuine Rembrandt, only one that I had not yet seen”, it is said in the video. Probably the same would have happened if a photograph had reached an expert.

Certainly not if the painting had been subject to diagnostic investigation. ‘… any art demands its instruments”, writes Leonardo (” ogni arte dimanda is suoi strumenti“). For the attribution of a painting, the assessment possible with the connoisseurs’ eye is certainly increasingly just one of them.