AR app lets museum visitors “X-Ray” paintings

Museums are home to breathtaking pieces of artwork by famous artists. We think that these painted canvases are in their best and purest form for the world to see. But, what we don’t know is that below the layers of oil, fixative and gloss medium, there are original ideas of the creators which might not be as perfect as it seems.

Cross-posted from Augmented Reality Trends

If you are wondering how you will be able to know the secrets beneath the final appearances, the answer is here. An augmented reality app for iOS devices has been developed which will let you see beneath the surfaces of artwork. However, the app works exclusively for the visitors of Spain’s Museo del Prado.

The App

The app known as Second Canvas has been designed by Madpixel which allows visitors of this historical museum to see beneath the surface of some valuable paintings. The audience will get this wonderful opportunity of unmatched access for paintings by Rembrandt, Goya, Velásquez and 11 other artists. The app combines augmented reality along with infrared and X-Ray techniques.

With this app, you don’t need to have a profound knowledge about the history of art nor do you have to get a guide, who will give you a detailed tour of the museum and the artwork. You will be able to get behind the scenes information easily with Second Canvas.

Explore the secrets

As a visitor to the Museo del Prado, you will be able to explore the secrets of these famous paintings with the app. You can narrow down on extremely fine details of the artwork. You can also view maps of paintings in terms of how many layers of paint have been added to create the final piece of artwork.

Other details which have been omitted from the paintings can also be seen through the app. With the social media interface, you can also share your new discoveries with your friends. Images are stripped down to their simplest and originally intended form through infrared scanning with the AR app.

For example, in Descent From the Cross, an artwork by Rogier van der Wyden, you will be able to see blood trickling down the neck of John The Baptist. This won’t be visible to you naturally. But through X-Ray imaging, the original idea is revealed.

Exploring from home

Art lovers can even connect their devices to big screens, which will let them explore the artwork from home. Those who are unable to visit the Prado Museum will be able to know what is available in the gallery and all this is possible through the use of this app.

You will be surprised to know that even the greatest artists of their time made mistakes and didn’t include changes that they once intended to put in the paintings. Second Canvas provides the opportunity to common people to know what the great painters had in mind while creating their famous pieces of artwork. Wouldn’t it be better if this app would be available for use in other museums across the globe?

What do you say?

Have you seen Second Canvas being used? Would you like to see its use expand in other places around the world? Are you going to use it? Look forward to your ideas and stories regarding Second Canvas in the comment below.

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