As a child of refugees, my parents' narrative is missing huge gaps of information. In our data rich world, archivists are finally piecing together new clues of history using unmanned systems to reopen cold cases. The Nazis were masters in using technology to mechanize killing and erasing all evidence of their crime. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Treblinka, Poland. The death camp exterminated close to 900,000 Jews over a 15-month period before a revolt led to its dismantlement in 1943.
Rembrandt is one of the most famed artists of all time and scientists have finally discovered the secret ingredient to his iconic technique. The Dutch genius refined his impasto technique, which gave a 3D appearance to his work, with a mystery recipe for his paint. Centuries of research found it to be a combination of materials traditionally available on the 17th century Dutch colour market, namely lead white pigment, cerussite and organic mediums such as linseed oil. Until now, the exact combination remained a mystery. Scientists have used cutting-edge imaging techniques to find the missing ingredient called plumbonacrite.
All of us who saw Jurassic Park as kids, no matter how much skepticism we'd precociously developed, surely spent at least a moment wondering if science could actually bring dinosaurs back to life by pulling the DNA out of their blood trapped in amber-preserved mosquitoes. It turns out that it can't -- at least not yet! Even so, people have long disagreed about whether to call the visual resurrection of dinosaurs in the service of a blockbuster adventure movie a work of art. But what if we used the even more powerful data analysis and computer graphics technology now at our disposal specifically for the purpose of generating a masterpiece, or at least a piece by a master -- by Rembrandt, say? A project called The Next Rembrandt has aimed to do just that with its attempt "to distill the artistic DNA of Rembrandt" using everything from building and analyzing "an extensive analysis of his paintings [ … ] pixel by pixel," to performing a demographic study determining his conclusive portrait subject ("a Caucasian male with facial hair, between the ages of thirty and forty, wearing black clothes with a white collar and a hat, facing to the right"), to creating a height map to mimic his physical brush strokes.
When the small painting with a slightly damaged surface and cracks in its wood backing materialized in September at an auction house in New Jersey, no one expected great things. First and foremost was its murky provenance: The artist was unknown, and so was the date of its creation. The auction house estimated that the work would sell for 500 to 800. "We had no idea when it came up to sale that there were about to be fireworks," said John Nye, who runs Nye & Co., based in Bloomfield, N.J. The seemingly unremarkable painting became the talk of the international art world after it was judged to be a long-lost work by the 17th century Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn.
Fingerprints thought to be those of the legendary artist Rembrandt have been discovered in a small oil sketch dating back almost 400 years. Study Of A Head Of A Young Man, which measures just over 25cm (10 inches) high, is expected to fetch about £6 million ($7.8m) when it is auctioned in London next month. And, buried in the original layer of paint, in the lower edge of the'powerful and touching' 17th century portrait, is what are believed to be the Dutch master's thumbprints. No other prints by the painter, said to be the'foremost master of the Western artistic tradition', have ever been found. Study Of A Head Of A Young Man (pictured), measuring just over 25cm (10 inches) high, is expected to fetch about £6 million ($7.8m) when it is auctioned in London next month The fingerprints were uncovered during a process of technical examination and restoration, which included pigment analyses, X-ray and infra-red imaging, just before the painting went on display in the US and the Louvre, in Paris, in 2011-12.