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Investigating Bellini’s Feast of the Gods is one of several exhibits in the WebExhibits online museum, all of which promote discovery through multidisciplinary approaches that support all learning styles. WebExhibits is a public service of the Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement (IDEA).

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El festin de los dioses y el Camerino d'Alabastro >>

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Curated by Michael Douma. Conservation and restoration of the Feast of the Gods by David Bull, chairman of painting conservation, National Gallery of Art, Washington. For more information, see the bibliography.

Music performed by members of the Brandeis Early Music Ensemble, directed by Sarah Mead: Lisa Bueno, Aaron Moulin, Beth Sanders, Jill Surkin, and Arielle Weiss. Recording engineer: Eric McEuen. Recorded December 12, 1998, Slosberg Recital Hall, Brandeis University, and from a live concert May 3, 1998, Slosberg Recital Hall.


Investigating Bellini’s Feast of the Gods is funded in part by the National Science Foundation's Division of Undergraduate Education (92-54291 & 96-53252); Brandeis University; the U.S. Department of Education, Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, FIPSE (P116B011454); and the Sloan Foundation and the Dreyfus Foundation for support of our program in Chemistry and Art. WebExhibits welcomes corporate sponsorships, and can assist you in identifying exhibits that are aligned with your community relations and marketing goals.

Acknowledgments We were introduced to the Feast of the Gods by the inspiring work of David Bull and Joyce Plesters and by David Sutherland’s dramatic film which still has no peer among art videos. We were convinced that any student could develop insight into art from scientific data - individually, interactively, in great detail and depth - using interactive media. At the outset, David Sutherland offered generous encouragement and introduced us to David Bull, who could not have been more supportive. In their work, the two Davids have set the highest standards for anyone entering this field. Their generosity has made our work possible.

Many individuals have offered criticism and help. We thank particularly the Brandeis undergraduates in the 1998 and 2002 Chemistry & Art courses, who analyzed critically an early versions. Colleagues in conservation and art history have been especially helpful. Special thanks to Anna Henchman for help reviewing the text, and Marsha Douma for simplifying the interface. We thank Andrea Bayer, David Brown, Dawson Carr, Rupert Featherstone, Peter Humfrey and Elizabeth Walmsley for art historical and conservation guidance.

Imaging notes

Infrared photography technique. The infrared photograph of the Feast of the Gods is a composite of images from a solid-state platinum silicide (PtSi) camera. This image is a composite of numerous 640 by 486 pixel tiles obtained between 2 - 2.4 mm, illuminated by quartz photofloods. Images were digitized into a Macintosh Quadra 700 controlled by IPLab Spectrum software, and assembled using Adobe Photoshop. The camera was a Kodak 310-21X thermal imaging Schottky barrier camera mounted in a vacuum insulated Dewar flask for operation at -196 °C cooled by liquid Nitrogen. X-ray photography technique. The X-ray photograph of the Feast of the Gods is a composite of numerous X-ray films, which are similar to medical X-rays. A typical X-ray wavelength used is ~71 pm. At that wavelength, a typical paint thickness of ~100 mm of lead white allows less than 7 % of the initial X-ray intensity to reach the film—appearing light-colored. By comparison, other common pigments in the traditional palette are virtually transparent to X-rays, azurite and red ochre respectively transmit 54 and 51 % under similar conditions—appearing dark-colored.

Images The artwork shown belong to their respective owners, and may not be redistributed or adapted in any way for commercial gains without their permission. Copyrights and Rights of Publicity belong to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, Michael Douma, the Bridgeman Art Library, SuperStock, Corbis, Art Resource, Hampton Court, and the National Gallery of Canada.
Colophon The home page typeface is Avalon, which plays sweeping freedom in the capitals against the vital discipline of a lowercase relieved by alternative ascending characters. Avalon was inspired by the calligraphy of Friedrich Neugebauer, who as a prisoner of war in Egypt, wrote with toothpaste when all else failed. It was created by Boston designer Richard Lipton.

Page headlines are set in Old Claude, which was drawn by Paul Shaw to simulate an old cut of the classic Garamond type designs of the 16th and 17th centuries. Some of the most popular typefaces in history are those based on the types of the sixteenth-century printer, publisher, and type designer Claude Garamond, whose sixteenth-century types were modeled on those of Venetian printers from the end of the previous century. The Garamond typeface and its variations have been a standard among book designers and printers for four centuries. The pronounced rough edges and coarse letter shapes simulate the effect of traditional letterpress printing where old foundry type meets handmade paper.

Legal Copyright © 2002 WebExhibits. All rights reserved. Note that rights to all artwork shown belong to their respective owners, and may not be redistributed for commercial gains without their permission.

While we have used our best efforts to verify that the information contained herein is accurate, we make no warranties to that effect, and shall not be liable for any damage that may result from errors or omissions in this exhibit.

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