The Last Supper Pre vs Post Restorations

The pre-restoration was made by merging multiple photographs of it then that image was auto-aligned with the post-restoration image. Interestingly the computer was not able to auto-align the pre and post paintings (It requires 40% of the images being a match) but I was able to manually align the post and pre and combine them with 50% transparency - and then use that image to auto-align the two originals.

That goes to show how different the painting looks even after about 20 years not to mention what it would have looked like 500 years ago. It’s like having the same connect the dots coordinates but other artists - and time - have painted over - replaced - took off - and then reinterpreted the internal images quite a bit - but also leaving the edges of the puzzle pieces mostly intact.

Getting two photographs of the Last Supper to align like this without a computer’s help would be very difficult without taking pictures of them from the exact same spot with the exact same camera - very difficult to achieve with decades between. Leonardo was aware of this problem and designed his paintings to be viewed from a specific spot to avoid distortion. Interestingly he was also the first to realize that this distortion could also be used for artistic effect and it became known as Anamorphosis. Or in other words you can draw something that can only be properly seen from a specific perspective.

 The most famous of which is by Hans Holbein the Younger - The Ambassadors - where there is a skull included in the foreground. 

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