Will accurate 3-D reproductions disrupt art markets?

From Amsterdam:

The Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam has developed high-quality 3D reproductions of some of its finest paintings, with what it describes as the most advanced copying technique ever seen. Axel Rüger, the museum’s director, said: “It really is the next generation of reproductions because they go into the third dimension. If you’re a layman, they are pretty indistinguishable [from the originals]. Of course, if you’re a connoisseur and you look more closely, you can see the difference.”

Each reproduction is priced £22,000 – somewhat more than the cost of a postcard or poster. But the museum is hoping to increase access to pictures which, if they were sold, would go for tens of millions of pounds to Russian oligarchs or American billionaires.

The 3D scanning technique has so far reproduced Almond Blossom(1890), Sunflowers (1889), The Harvest (1888), Wheatfield under Thunderclouds (1890) and Boulevard de Clichy (1887). Further ventures into Van Gogh’s back catalogue are planned.

Over the internet it is hard to tell how good they are, but I would bet $50 I cannot be fooled, not yet at least.  And even if I could be fooled, I wouldn’t pay that much for one.  The article is here, with one photo, and of course Alex and I analyzed this scenario some time ago.

The pointer is from Ted Gioia, one of my favorite people on Twitter.


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