Recreating masterpieces

Melody and I were more intrigued with Tim's Vermeer than we expected to be. It was amazing the detail Tim Jenison went through to just try to recreate "The Music Lesson" as accurately as possible, even though he had never painted before. In the same vein, photographer Drew Gardner has been recreating paintings using descendants of the subjects.

Where Jenison and Gardner diverge, however, is Jenison was able to work on a section at a time, and the subjects in "The Music Lesson" weren't even sitting at the same time. Gardner, however, is taking a photograph, so everything has to be in place at the same time. The set, wardrobe, pose, and even lighting have to be perfect for the same fraction of a second.

The latest effort by Gardner is to recreate the "Mona Lisa" with "the 15 times great granddaughters of the Mona Lisa". The article is fascinating, as it is about what it took to make a movie about the effort. Hopefully the movie will be available in the U.S. at some point.

I learned of the movie through lighting expert David Hobby's description about trying to recreate the lighting. Leonardo da Vinci, Hobby says playfully, was a cheater, at least from a photographer's point of view. However, they were able to get very close at duplicating the lighting in the "Mona Lisa" with only one light source.