Colour shift

Angelic LutistI took this photo in the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice earlier this year. It’s a detail of the painting Presentation of Jesus in the Temple by Vittore Carpaccio, painted in 1510. This detail shows an angel playing the lute, sitting on the steps below the alter where Mary is presenting the baby Jesus.

It turns out this is a very popular detail from this painting, and you can find dozens of similar images just showing this portion of the painting on the web. The weird thing is how different in colour they all are. I presume many of them were taken as photos some time ago, and since then the painting has been restored, giving it the vibrant colours you can see in my photo. Because that’s what it looked like to me when I was standing right there in front of it. The skirt (pants, whatever that is) was a vibrant blue, as you see here in my photo. But most of the other web images of this same painting show it to be a drab, and even non-blue colour. Wikipedia’s version is astoundingly poor in colour.


3 Responses to “Colour shift”

  1. Tim says:

    Did you actually intend to claim a copyright to that image, or is that just the default from your Flickr stream?

  2. It’s the default on Flickr.

    A quick search indicates that under US law, a “flat, artless reproduction of a public domain work” is also public domain – which I am guessing may be what you’re alluding to. However, I am not a US citizen, and this photo was not taken in the USA. Honestly, I don’t know what law applies in this situation to this photo. Rather than declare it to be public domain, I am going to claim copyright on it until demonstrated otherwise. If I’m shown a relevant Italian or Australian law that makes it clear that this photo of mine is indeed public domain, then I’m happy to accept that.

    I don’t mean to be argumentative – I just don’t want to accidentally relinquish a right that I may in fact be entitled to. :-)

  3. A bit more searching reveals this:

    [For photographs taken after 1992] Reproduction photography is protected by copyright in Italy, but this right subsists until 20 years have elapsed from the year in which the picture was produced. Article 87, Chapter V, Rights relating to photographs: «[… ] reproductions of works of graphic art […] shall be considered to be photographs for the purposes of the application of the provisions of this Chapter.» Article 92, Chapter V: «The exclusive right in respect of photographs shall continue for twenty years from the making of the photograph.»

    So, as far as I understand it, I do have copyright on this photo, at least until the year 2032.

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