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The only problem with great paintings produced by artists prior to the 21st century is that the old bags didn’t know how to turn them into animated short films. As impressive as the work of Caravaggio, Gaulli, Nouguereau, Bryullov, or other masters may be, none of these numbskulls knew how to rig their gorgeously constructed figures up to move around or, god forbid, automatically trigger thematically appropriate electronic music to play while viewers appreciated their work.

Well, we’re please to report that artist and writer Agustín Vidal Saavedra has been working hard to fix this historic mistake by posting animated versions of paintings from the artists listed above on his Instagram and Behance pages. The most recent of these is his take on Giovanni Battista Gaulli’s Triumph Of The Name Of Jesus, which illustrates pretty handily exactly why Saavedra’s work is so interesting. Entitled Heaven’s Gate, Saavadra’s version uses Adobe After Effects to turn flat copies of images into three-dimensional ones where viewers are given the sensation of traveling inside the work itself. He also throws some music over it for good measure.


He’s produced a few more of these so far, including his Ecstasy of Saint Francis, which zooms in on Caravaggio’s Saint Francis Of Assisi In Ecstasy and illustrates his receiving the stigmata through a kaleidoscopic vision that translates Francis’ vision of Christ into something included in the work itself.

Two others—Saavedra’s reworking of The Last Day Of Pompeii and The Birth Of Venus—continue in this mold, animating body movements and facial details to add new life to familiar paintings.


Let Saavedra’s project be a lesson for posterity: If you’re an artist who wants future artists to leave your work alone, future proof it by traveling through time, inventing technologies that won’t exist for centuries after your death, and implement them into your process.

[via Digg]

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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