Category Archives: The Synthetic Image research project

One week per month over the course of one year I work on the creation of a Digital Diorama of the Archangel Michael. This project serves as a vehicle for research into figurative image making before photography and how we might achieve similar effects with the computer (after, or at least without photography). To this end, the project is also accompanied by study of 3D modeling, texturing and realtime presentation.

Synthetic Image research in April

Apart from a delightful visit to the National Gallery in London which allowed me to study especially the work of Carlo Crivelli, not much happened this month. I have abandoned the Blender tutorial about modeling a human figure because it felt useless. In an attempt to understand the style of the Old Masters better, I…

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An Italian Primitive in London

The National Gallery in London was on my list of places to visit for The Synthetic Image research project because I wanted to see Carlo Crivelli’s picture of Saint Michael, of which I have studied a reproduction in detail. As always, of course, there were many other works to enjoy as well. But also one…

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Synthetic Image research in March

Our visit to the Kunsthistorisches Museum has filled me with so much inspiration that it proved a little difficult to get real work done this week. But I’m very determined about the next steps. Collecting notes and photos from the visit took a bit more time than expected. And the 8th anniversary of our game…

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Angels in Vienna

The Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna is one of the nicest museums I have visited. We had been there before but this time the explicit reason was to study the paintings of Archangel Michael by Gerard David, Luca Giordano and Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. I didn’t find the latter but the museum offered plenty compensation. The Kunsthistorisches…

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Synthetic Image research in February

The central event of this week’s work on The Synthetic Image was a visit to the Louvre museum in Paris. Intended to study the two paintings of Archangel Michael by Raphael, the hours spent roaming the endless museum halls also inspired a great many ideas. More about that here. To prepare for the visit I…

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Raphael’s archangels and Louvre inspirations

The two paintings of the Archangel Michael by Raphael were the direct reason for wanting to visit the Louvre again. Paris being only two hours away from our home, I travel there regularly. But Raphael hadn’t moved me much in the past. And seeing the two paintings in person didn’t blow me away this time…

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Synthetic Image research in January

The first week I had reserved for The Synthetic Image research project sadly suffered from several unwelcome distractions and interruptions. Excessive rainfall had caused clogged drains in our new home that took two days to investigate and repair. Our car had a flat tire that needed to be fixed. I had to do some accounting…

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Carlo Crivelli’s Saint Michael

Carlo Crivelli: Saint Michael (about 1476) 90.5 x 26.5 cm tempera on poplar currently in the National Gallery in London This analysis was done on 18 January 2017 based on photographic reproductions found on the internet. One of 4 panels from an altarpiece in Ascoli Piceno, a town in the Marche region in East Italy…

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Diorama of Archangel Michael

The choice of Archangel Michael as subject of my diorama is obvious: he is my patron saint since I carry the same name (although my atheist parents named my after the Florentine renaissance master Michelangelo Buonarroti). As a result I have always been fascinated by depictions of the archangel. Historical depictions Archangel Michael is most…

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