Google blows up the Easter Bunny

Hare

While Easter is technically a religious holiday, many people do not celebrate it as such. Instead of biblical stories, they speak of magical bunny rabbits that deliver chocolate, and that is OK. After all, people have the right to celebrate as they want.

One iconic Easter treat is Easter Bunny-shaped chocolate. Many children look forward to seeing this in their Easter basket every year. But did you know that there is a classic hare painting on which many of the confections are based? It's true and now Google is "blowing it up" by making it a gigapixel image.

"Albrecht Dürer's masterpiece the Hare is a favorite Easter image, and today it serves as a model for chocolate bunnies. The Google Cultural Institute is celebrating this season by today releasing a gigapixel image of the Hare. Gigapixel images contain billions of pixels, that's around 1,000 times more detailed than your average digital camera", says Simon Rein, Program Manager, Google Cultural Institute.

Rein further explains, "the animal's watchful eyes, vibrating whiskers, and alert ears give the impression that the hare might hop out off the paper at any moment. An interesting detail to explore using the zoom feature is the the hare's right eye which appears to reflect the interior of a room or form the shape of a cross. According to the Albertina curators, the image might be a reflection of the artist's studio, or perhaps the Christian symbol of the cross which would lend religious significance to this image from nature. Take a look, and come up with your own ideas".

The image is truly remarkable and an absolute joy to observe. By zooming in, you can see very detailed brush strokes. It is as if you are in a museum with your nose against the actual painting. By looking at the eye, one can only imagine what was reflecting at the time, over 500 years ago.

Sadly, the actual painting is so sensitive to light, that it is rarely shown out of fear that it will be ruined. This gigapixel image will preserve it for eternity and allow people to see it whenever they want. This is a great example of technology and art coming together with fabulous results.

What do you imagine to be reflecting in the hare's eye? Tell me in the comments.

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