Night Watch: Ready for a close-up


One of the world's most famous and admired paintings has just had its portrait 'painted' for a super high-resolution online image that's viewable now, even while the painting itself sits at home behind lockdown doors.

The high-res image was put together from 528 exposures stitched together by software. The final image contains 44.8 gigapixels (yes, that's a thing) with a distance between pixels of 20 micrometres (yes to that one, too). The painting was taken from its frame for examination and analysis with a variety of technologies to create a detailed database for restorers and scholars to work from.

Rembrandt's The Night Watch at Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum is scheduled to undergo a major restoration—now postponed until next year—and the museum's 'Operation Night Watch' wanted to start with the maximum possible information on the painting before it's touched. As museum staff put it, ‘We won’t rush things. This can only be done  once and it has to be done it well. We owe it to the world,’

Gumbo's hint: Choose your highest resolution screen; it may be your phone or a high-end laptop. The difference in what you see between a good monitor and a great one is significant.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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I just got around to having a look on my desktop.  Wow!  But just for a Rembrandt, that zoom would not be kind to a live face!

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