The Arnolfini Portrait in 3d: Creating Virtual World of a Painting with Inconsistent Perspective


Jansen, P.H. and Ruttkay, Z.M. (2007) The Arnolfini Portrait in 3d: Creating Virtual World of a Painting with Inconsistent Perspective. In: Annual Conference of the European Association for Computer Graphics, Eurographics 2007 Cultural Heitage Papers, 3-7 September 2007, Prague, Czech Republic (pp. pp. 25-32).

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Abstract:We report on creating a 3d virtual reconstruction of the scene shown in "The Arnolfini Portrait" by Jan van Eyck. This early Renaissance painting, if painted faithfully, should confirm to one-point perspective, however it has several vanishing points instead of one. Hence our 3d reconstruction had to be based on some, from an art historian’s point of view plausible assumptions on choosing a unique vanishing point and measures of certain items in the scene. We compare our approach to similar reconstructions by others. Using professional modeling and image processing computer tools, we created a 3d reconstruction of the geometry of the interior, the textures and the lighting. A perspective view of this model is compared to the original painting, showing high fidelity, but at the same time also large local mismatches due to the inconsistent handling of parallel lines in the original painting, as well as some differences in the reflected image in the mirror. A reconstruction such as ours provides new details of the original scene for scholars, is useful for art historians to find out more about the way the painting was created, and could be used as an installation for exploration in museums or other learning environments by the general public.
Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS)
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