Tuesday 11 Dec, 2007

Magnifying a masterpiece

Leonardo’s The Last Supper is ready for its close-up.

One of the world’s most famous paintings is now the world’s largest high-definition photograph—at 16 billion pixels. And the best part is that all of us can enjoy an in-depth look at the remarkable, 500-year-old painting.

Thanks to a project by high-def photography expert HAL9000, you can now inspect every pixel of the painting.

The original painting, which hangs in Milan’s Santa Maria delle Grazie, is a massive masterpiece. Although a tad less famous than another da Vinci painting, The Last Supper measures 29 feet wide and 15 feet high—dwarfing The Mona Lisa, which is less than 2 feet by 3 feet.

Nothing beats seeing this masterpiece in person. In fact, Globespotters just urged visitors to make time for it in Milan.

As Gadling points out, it’s nearly impossible to get close enough to the classics to truly study them. But at least now we can get more than a glimpse of greatness. Enjoy zooming!

More news items from the art world:

If you can’t get to Florence to see Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise, you might be able to see them closer to home. Gadling points out that the famous bronze doors on the Baptistery of San Giovanni are making a couple of museum stops stateside. The doors—wonderfully named by Michelangelo himself—are on display in New York City through Jan. 14 and then head to Seattle through April 6.

Also, about a hundred treasures from Marie Antoinette are on display at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park through Feb. 17. The items are on loan from The Petit Trianon—Antoinette’s personal retreat at Versailles—while the château undergoes a major restoration through June 2008.

In case you missed it, the Trevi Fountain in Rome was colored red in October. According to World Hum,
it’s either abhorrent vandalism of one of Rome’s most treasured
monuments, or a brilliant commentary on the staid culture of ancient