It's been about 350 years since Dutch artist Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn died and the world was graced with one of his triumphant portraits of his contemporaries or himself. Although Rembrandt's brush may never touch canvas again, that doesn't mean we can't be blessed with a new Rembrandt creation. The project The Next Rembrandt, while oddly a commercial partnered between ING Bank and Amsterdam-based advertising agency J Walter Thompson, has created an original Rembrandt based on his previous work—and it was all done by a computer.

With the help of coders and academics, over 300 original Rembrandt portraits were scanned, from which image analysis specialists analyzed both stroke style and face shapes. With this data, they built an algorithm that could recreate an entirely new, hypothetical subject that Rembrandt may have painted, in his own style. Then the image was painted, layer by layer, by a 3-D printer, so that the final product had all of the texture of a real painting, applied stroke by stroke. 

Who will be the next great artist to receive a similar treatment? You can read more at Co.Design and make sure to check out the artwork's incredible interactive landing page to get a closer look at its details.


Feature image via YouTube/The Next Rembrandt