4kpx-angiolo-doni4kpx-girl-before-a-mirror.gif4kpx-kiss4kpx-madame-cezanne-in-a-yellow-chair4kpx-marilyn-monroe4kpx-maya-desnuda4kpx-michel-leiris.gif4kpx-mona-lisa4kpx-quappi-in-blue-on-a-boat4kpx-saint-francis4kpx-scream4kpx-tahitian-women-on-the-beach4kpx-the-song-of-love4kpx-treachery-of-images4kpx-vangogh-self-portrait4kpx-virgin-annunciate

Minimal Art History

Gallery of low-fidelity art reproductions

2011-2016  |  Illustration, Research

Most people think digital art reproductions are exact copies (the word “digital” has still a halo of perfection in common sense). Actually each digital translation involves a loss of information from its analog origin.

With this ongoing research I’m trying to determine how much information you can subtract to an image and still keep it recognizable and enjoyable, focusing on famous artworks since the Renaissance. I pick up a JPEG digital reproduction and then manipulate it:

  • reducing its size to a maximum of 64*64 px (4kpx);
  • decreasing color-depth to max. 16 colors (chosen from the web-safe palette);
  • ending with some manual retouching (computers aren’t that proficient in art).

The results are these tiny low-res images, which maintain some kind of aesthetic value and an obvious link to their original artworks. But can they be considered art reproductions in these days of technological struggle for high definition and maximum likelihood?

4kpx artworks 01 - Low-fi masterpieces
4kpx artworks 02 - Mona Lisa transformation phase 1
4kpx artworks 03 - Mona Lisa transformation phase 2
4kpx artworks 04 - Mona Lisa transformation phase 3
4kpx artworks 05 - Mona Lisa transformation phase 4

The entire transformation process for 4kpx-mona-lisa.gif.
From left: a digital reproduction of the original artwork, 64px-height bicubic resizing, 13 web-safe color reduction, manual final retouching.

4kpx artworks 06 - Maya desnuda animation

Comparison between Maya Desnuda and 4kpx-maya-desnuda.gif

4kpx artworks 07 - Angiolo Doni overlay
4kpx artworks 08 - Vincent Van Gogh overlay

Overlay between hi-res artworks and 4kpx-artworks

BIG 4kpx-virgin-annunciate

4kpx-virgin-annunciate.gif, 2011
(from Antonello da Messina, 1476)

BIG 4kpx-mona-lisa

4kpx-mona-lisa.gif, 2011
(from Leonardo Da Vinci, 1503-19)

BIG 4kpx-angiolo-doni

4kpx-angiolo-doni.gif, 2012
(from Raffaello Sanzio, 1505)

BIG 4kpx-saint-francis

4kpx-saint-francis.gif, 2011
(from Francisco de Zurbarán, 1658)

BIG 4kpx-maya-desnuda

4kpx-maya-desnuda.gif, 2011
(from Francisco Goya, 1797-1800)

BIG 4kpx-kiss

4kpx-kiss.gif, 2011
(from Francesco Hayez, 1859)

BIG 4kpx-madame-cezanne-in-a-yellow-chair

4kpx-madame-cezanne-in-a-yellow-chair.gif, 2011
(from Paul Cézanne, 1888-90)

BIG 4kpx-vangogh-self-portrait

4kpx-vangogh-self-portrait.gif, 2012
(from Vincent Van Gogh, 1889)

BIG 4kpx-tahitian-women-on-the-beach

4kpx-tahitian-women-on-the-beach.gif, 2011
(from Paul Gauguin, 1891)

BIG 4kpx-scream

4kpx-scream.gif, 2011
(from Edvard Munch, 1893)

BIG 4kpx-the-song-of-love

4kpx-the-song-of-love.gif, 2013
(from Giorgio De Chirico, 1914)

BIG 4kpx-quappi-in-blue-on-a-boat

4kpx-quappi-in-blue-on-a-boat.gif, 2011
(from Max Beckmann, 1926)

BIG 4kpx-treachery-of-images

4kpx-treachery-of-images.gif, 2011
(from René Magritte, 1928-29)

4kpx-girl-before-a-mirror.gif

4kpx-girl-before-a-mirror.gif, 2016
(from Pablo Picasso, 1932)

BIG 4kpx-marilyn-monroe

4kpx-marilyn-monroe.gif, 2011
(from Andy Warhol, 1967)

4kpx-michel-leiris.gif

4kpx-michel-leiris.gif, 2016
(from Francis Bacon, 1976)