Dr. Shin-Ichi Fukuoka featured in Libération

Dr. Shin-Ichi Fukuoka has been featured in an article on the Maurithuis and its collection in leading French newspaper Libération. The article, by Edouard Launet, profiles the Mauritshuis collection as a unique source of literary inspiration.

Four of its most renowned paintings have so captivated writers that they have made them central to their work: first came Proust, whose In Search of Lost Time repeatedly refers to the “little patch of yellow wall” in Vermeer’s View of Delft as the embodiment of artist perfection. Next was Tracy Chevalier and her Girl with a Pearl Earring. The novel, subsequently turned into a movie, imagines who the girl might have been and how Vermeer came to paint her. Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch has recently won a Pulitzer Prize; its namesake painting, by Carel Fabritius, hangs in the Mauritshuis. Finally, in 2013 Nina Siegal wrote The Anatomy Lesson having been inspired by Rembrandt’s The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp.

The article also talks about the visionary leadership of museum director Dr. Emilie Gordenker, who sees the digital reproduction of the Mauristhuis collection and the availability of reproductions as a positive step in encouraging wider interest in the art housed in this boutique gallery in The Hague. Her thinking is that once you have seen a reproduction, you are more inspired to see the original. This approach led to the development of the re-opening campaign in June 2014, after a two-year renovation period.

It was this campaign which featured Dr. Shin-Ichi Fukuoka, who is not only a renowned fan of Vermeer, having published a book about his travels around the world to view the originals in their home museums, but is also the brains behind the Re-create project, an attempt to restore masterpieces to their original colour and texture through digital manipulation of high-quality data and state-of-the-art printing procedures.

The article goes on to imagine which of the Mauristhuis masterpieces might be next to inspire a great work of literature. For would-be writers without the means to travel to The Hague, the entire collection can be enjoyed available online here:

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