Printing old paintings

Caezer Ng

You may call it 'old' or 'classical', but some art just last forever, such as a brilliant oil painting. A customer recently requested to have one printed on canvas and found one he liked in View of Dresden by Moonlight (1838), by Norwegian painter Johan Christian Dahl.

Owning the original, of course, is nearly impossible for most people. Classic paintings are either too expensive or are priceless. They also may never show at your local gallery or museum.

Combine modern-day digital imaging and printing, with the Internet, to create a stunning reproduction. We had fun with this one for several reasons: the image is beautiful, it is a historical piece, and tells a terrific story.

The story is the most interesting part, because the customer had been looking for wall art of a cityscape. He never quite realized what it was that turned him off from other pictures until he found the Dahl piece. He concluded that all other pictures were too bright. You can imagine what modern cities are like, with all their electrical lights.

The beauty of the Dresden moonlight painting is that it is dark, even with its old lamp posts -- they are but small white dots. The most dominant light is the moon and its reflection on the river. There is more, though. Look closely at the picture, and you will see people doing things by moonlight! That was how people lived back then.

We are grateful for the young man who brought View of Dresden by Moonlight to our attention. It is a fascinating piece of art that tells a great daily-life story.