New Hi-Res Vermeer Images

August 2nd, 2013
detail of Johannes Vermeer's Music Lesson

After a long vacation from Italy and my computer (I never vacation from Vermeer), there is lots of catching up to do. Here’s a start for digital image fans.

In conjunction with the current Vermeer exhibition Vermeer & Music: The Art of Love & Leisure, the National Gallery has published super hi-res images of the 4 authentic Vermeers which you can access by clicking here. The Lady Standing at the Virginal, the Lady Standing at the Virginal and the Guitar Player are somewhat larger than those already on the gallery’s website but the Music Lesson is by far the best digital image of the picture now publicly available (Google’s scan of the picture is downright horrible). Also included are x-ray images of the NG works. All the images are exceptionally detailed but decidedly low in contrast. If you know the pictures well, I would imagine that a little bit of contrasting in image editor will do the trick.

In any case, the IIPMooViewer is acceptably responsive but I still prefer to have the whole image on my hard disk. This requires scores and scores of screen capturing, pasting to Photoshop and aligning (nerve-racking) and, obviously, an endless reserve of patience. If any kind soul out there knows how to sidestep this gargantuan task and download the whole images, don’t hesitate to let us all know.

6 Responses to “New Hi-Res Vermeer Images”

  1. Mike Buffington

    It looks like the images are stored on a server in tif format. It might be possible to access, but would need a bit of work.

    NG1383: Johannes Vermeer, A Young Woman standing at a Virginal
    N-1383-00-000048-PYR.tif (xray)
    N-1383-00-000046-PYR.tif (photo)

    If you study the url below, you’ll see that the very end, “6,1070” stands for zoom level and tile number. The zoom goes from 0 to 6, and the tiles from 0 to 1070

    http://research.ng-london.org.uk/fcgi-bin/iipsrvIntPublic.fcgi?FIF=/pics/pyramids/uncropped_files/Uncropped%20NG%20Fronts/N-1383-00-000046-PYR.tif&CNT=1&SDS=0,90&JTL=6,1079 <– lower right, max zoom

    http://research.ng-london.org.uk/fcgi-bin/iipsrvIntPublic.fcgi?FIF=/pics/pyramids/uncropped_files/Uncropped%20NG%20Fronts/N-1383-00-000046-PYR.tif&CNT=1&SDS=0,90&JTL=6,0 <– upper left, max zoom

    I guess one could write a script to visit and download all the images from 0 to 1079, and then with some scripting or Photoshop work, tile the image together.

  2. Mike Buffington

    Also, here’s the software’s homepage, http://iipimage.sourceforge.net/
    It might give clues on whether or not you can download the image…

  3. Jonathan Janson

    Mike thanks for the tip. Still in London?

  4. Mike Buffington

    Will be impossible unless you know where the file is being stored:

    Image Security and Storage

    IIPImage allows you to protect your original images as they do not need to be directly accessible by the client via the web server (Apache, Lightttpd etc). They, therefore, do not need to be in the web server document root or in any subdirectory. The user, therefore, does not need to have download access to the full resolution image file – only the IIPImage server needs to. The images can be stored in any directory (or mounted directory via NFS, for example) on the machine on which the IIPImage server iipsrv executable runs. This machine can also be a machine separate to the web server front-end.

    The image paths given to the IIPImage server via the FIF variable must be absolute system paths on the server machine (eg. FIF=/images/test.tif) and not paths relative to the web server document root location. Don’t forget to make sure the IIPImage server process owner has read access on the images! On Windows, you should still use forward slashes “/” for the image path, not “\” and there is no need for the “c:” prefix.

    You can also use the operating system’s access control to grant read access permission to the iipsrv process for specific directories or images only.

  5. Mike Buffington

    No, back in the USA.

  6. Costar

    There is an easy way to avoid the boring steps of pasting (or assembling) and aligning the tiles. Photoshop CS4 to CS6 can automate that.
    First you capture parts of the screen that contain only the inside of the image and overlap about 20% of the surrounding tiles (of course use a very large screen to reduce the number of tiles), then you can use the PHOTOMERGE function (File>Automatization>Photomerge), the dialog is unambiguous. You select all the files (parts of the screen) saved and Photoshop does the all thing, creates the final and complete image in a few seconds.
    I often use this function to plunder Google Art Project for my favorite pictures.

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