According to the saying, it’s either God or the Devil in the details. Either way, there seems to be an inherent fascination with closely observing the finest details in a subject. In museums, given opportunity, people will walk right up to a painting or photograph to examine it as closely as possible. This may happen even if the subject in itself is not so compelling. But when it is…


Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper is no doubt an art object that has plenty of intrinsic interest. But given the opportunity to observe it in fantastic detail, I found it equally compelling as an object. The image above is from that decaying fresco (despite its resemblance to some of my close-ups of junkyard cars).

The group at haltadefinizione specializes in ultra-high resolution photography of art objects, and you can view several other examples on their web site. I recommend the Cupola di Novara — see if you can find the birds.

Incidentally, there has been recent speculation — perhaps fed but not initiated by Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code — that The Last Supper harbors a hidden musical score. You can learn more about it on YouTube.

Do details have as strong an attraction for you as they do for me? Or do you always keep a respectful distance from an artwork?