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News > September 2013 > Van Gogh Museum creates 3D replicas of masterpieces

Van Gogh Museum creates 3D replicas of masterpieces

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has reportedly developed a reproduction technique that they describe as "the most advanced copying technique ever", according to this article from The Guardian. The technique, known as Reliefography, creates high-quality 3D reproductions of Van Gogh's finest works, and Axel Rüger, director of the Van Gogh Museum, has said that "if you're a connoisseur and you look more closely, you can see the difference", but added that " if you're a layman, they are pretty indistinguishable [from the originals]".

Reproductions of some of Van Gogh's most recognisable works have already been created, including Almond Blossom (1890), Sunflowers (1889), Wheatfield Under Thunderclouds (1890), The Harvest (1888) and Boulevard de Clichy (1887), and they have been priced at £22,000 each, making them a rather expensive souvenir to take home. The development of 3D replicas of masterpieces shows promise for the future however, with the potential for more and more people to be able to hang a lifelike masterpiece on their walls instead of a poster or print that lacks the vibrancy of the original.

Although each replica will resemble the original to the naked eye, which includes the frame and the back of the painting, each reproduction is marked as such by an unbreakable seal that protects a number that ranges from 1 to 260; a limited edition of 260 copies of each painting have been made so far. Although those who will soon be visiting the originals in Amsterdam on Rhine river cruises are far more likely to return with a canvas reproduction of Sunflowers than a £22,000 3D, Reliefography could change this in the near future.

Image credit: Kennisland (
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