Song Dynasty Painting Goes Digital

“Along the River During the Qingming Festival” In Digital Form Unveiled In Beijing

The digitized painting is on view now at the Palace Museum in Beijing

The digitized painting is on view now at the Palace Museum in Beijing

Xinhua has an interesting article today about Beijing’s Palace Museum (b.k.a. the Forbidden City) unveiling a digitized version of the famous Song Dynasty (960-1279 CE) painting “Along the River During the Qingming Festival.” The giant scroll painting has been converted into a 3D image displayed on a digital screen measuring one hundred meters by six meters (328′ x 19.7′).

From the article:

The river in the picture appears to be flowing. People and cattle seem to be standing next to audiences. Ten times the original size, the digital version of the painting has special sound and lighting effects that change constantly. Visitors who view the work are able to virtually travel in time to the prosperous capital of the Northern Song Dynasty, Bianliang, or today’s Kaifeng city in central China’s Henan Province, which is depicted in the painting.

Li Ji, deputy director of Palace Museum, said, “It takes a great effort for the experts to decipher the work’s meaning, not to mention ordinary people. Digital technology allows an easy access for the general public to comprehend the masterpiece.”

The entire piece was painted in hand scroll format and the content reveals the lifestyle of all levels of the society from rich to poor as well as different economic activities in rural areas and the city.

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