Cathedral visitors to get 3D experience of Christian nativity masterpiece

The exhibition opens on January 22 and runs until April 3.

A person looks up at a copy of Jan Gossaert’s Adoration Of The Kings (Andrew Matthews/PA)

By Ben Mitchell, PA

A 3D recreation of a masterpiece depicting the Christian nativity scene has been installed at Winchester Cathedral to “transport visitors into the world of the painting”.

Yurt-like pods have been set up in the north transept of the 11th-century cathedral inside which a digital reproduction of Jan Gossaert’s Adoration Of The Kings will be projected for visitors.

The exhibition, Sensing The Unseen: Step Into Gossaert’s Adoration has been produced by London’s National Gallery to create an immersive experience of the oil painting that dates back to 1501-15.

A screen featuring a digital image of Jan Gossaert’s Adoration Of the Kings (Andrew Matthews/PA)

A cathedral spokeswoman said: “The exhibition space will house the large facsimile painting, spot lit against a black backcloth flanked by three yurt-like pods.

“Inside the pods, visitors will encounter a screen featuring a digital image of the painting, which has been ‘sonified’ using a soundscape comprising ambient sound, spoken word and music created by sound artist, Nick Ryan.

“Interactive digital imagery will transport visitors into the world of the painting, to discover and navigate previously unseen elements in forensic detail: the weave of the fabric, Gossaert’s fingerprint in the green glaze where he blotted it, thistles and dead nettles, hairs sprouting from a wart on a cheek, a tiny pearl, and a hidden angel.”

The exhibition gives visitors a 3D experience (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Alison Evans, the cathedral’s chief operating officer, said: “We want as many people as possible to come and experience this new way of looking at art where, with the help of digital technology, visitors feel they are transported into Jan Gossaert’s painting.”

Dr Gabriele Finaldi, director of the National Gallery, said: “Sensing the Unseen offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of this sensational masterpiece, in the deep and rich story it tells and in the artistry that made it.”

The exhibition opens on January 22 and runs until April 3.

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