May 8, 2013

I’m very excited with the new possibilities available to visual art researchers. Sky’s the limit and sometimes Rebel Angels fall from it!

Here’s this weekend’s scenario: I was preparing a presentation on a beloved topic of mine, drawing. I was sourcing images for Belgian artist Jan Fabre. His massive ball-point pen drawings on silk made a huge impact when I first saw them in Prato, Italy (outside of Florence) back in 1994. Found some stunning documentation of a similar installation in Vienna. Here’s a glimpse:

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Curiousity kicked in. I began to wonder what the amazing painting on the far wall was–click on the image to see it better.

Not that long ago, if you wanted to find these sorts of things you’d spend hours upon hours researching, asking around, combing through art books, chasing red herrings… Nowadays, plug it into Google Image search and it’s all you need.

I took an isolated screen shot of the large painting in the background. “A Rubens no doubt,” I thought. Went to Google Image, clicked the camera icon, uploaded the small thumbnail. Viola! Instantly a grid of the exact image appeared. This was it:

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Turns out it’s a famous painting by the late Baroque master, Luca Giordano titled “Fall of the Rebel Angels” dated 1666. Rubens hypothesis challenged–new artist discovered.

What will we do with all the research time we now save?

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