Monday, February 09, 2009

Sandro Botticelli

These are two versions of a self portrait of Sandro Botticelli. This picture was originally uploaded with a bot by Eloquence, and at some stage the picture was "enhanced". While I do agree that the original colours are a bit flat, just changing the colours does not a restoration make. There are other details to consider; the colours of the tree and the shrubs for instance do not look green any more.

Botticelli is a famous artist, it shows because the picture is used on at least 150 pages in 38 projects. When art is presented, it is not a great idea to just change the original picture "because you can". It is to be preferred when the original remains available. When improvements are made to an image, adjusting the colour levels is only one aspect of a range of actions that should be applied as a whole.

Changing an image like this may be well intended but the link with what a picture "really" looks like is lost. In my opinion it is extremely important that the changes that are made are motivated and the different phases of such a change should be available. This allows other people to collaborate on a restoration. In this way, the image is available for impovement in a wiki way.
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