Tilt-Shift Van Gogh

about the Malyons experience

Some masterpieces, it’s known, never find peace. Maybe just because, as suggested by our friend Rino Stefano Tagliafierro, in time “they have become real fundamental symbols for our culture”, so we need to confront them continuously to verify and experiment our progress.

A new interesting experience comes from Serena Malyon and her father John, the founder of Artcyclopedia, who thought to try the visually stunning field of tilt-shift photography — an effect which uses a special lens giving a real-world scene the illusion of being a miniature model — using paintings. The effect can be simulated in Photoshop, by adjusting a photograph’s contrast, colour saturation and depth of focus.

They noticed that the works of Vincent van Gogh in particular made excellent subjects for this kind of treatment.

Vincent van Gogh - Red Chestnuts in the Public Park at Arles (detail)

The actual concept, as Serena tells, came from my father. He was playing with software that could simulate the tilt-shift effect and had the idea to try it on a painting. Together we tried it with some paintings and it we realized that the tilt-shifting looked especially cool on Van Gogh’s work, so we gathered up a bunch of images of his paintings and I got to work.

Vincent van Gogh - Starry Night over the Rhone (detail)

I was very surprised by the reaction it received. We just thought that people who knew Van Gogh’s work would find it interesting and somewhat amusing to see it transformed in this way. I had already tested out a few paintings and Van Gogh’s really stood out. I think they work really well because his painting technique already has a lot of depth to it, the way he uses line describes form beautifully.

His work was also really interesting because his paintings include a number of interesting details that we could focus in on and make that the centerpiece of the painting.

Vincent van Gogh - The Red Vineyard

On their site, the people of Artcyclopedia like to reiterate that:

Nothing in any of these paintings been added or removed or had its proportions changed. The effect is achieved simply by manipulating the light in the scene and adjusting the areas of the image that are more and less in focus, as you will see.

This is all being done in fun, so don’t take it too seriously. But having said that, we’re pretty sure you will discover several paintings you’ve never seen before, and stumble across some previously unnoticed details in the works you think you know well. Enjoy!

Vincent van Gogh - The Harvest (detail)

excerpts from Serena Malyon’s Interview thanks to


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