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Recreating a Dutch master in fabric

Feature, Graphics, Projects | September 1, 2013 | By:

The Paleis Huis ten Bosch, built in 1645 in The Hague, Netherlands, became a center for Dutch art soon after its construction. Catholic artists of the day filled one of its spaces, the Oranjezaal (Orange Hall), with paintings to honor a royal prince. Today, Huis ten Bosch is one of three official residences of the Dutch royal family and a treasure trove of 17th century masterpieces. When the Grote Kerk (Grand Church) in The Hague launched a special exhibition in April 2013 on the Golden Century of Dutch art and culture, visitors saw the Oranjezaal in all its glory—reproduced in banner material both printed and painted with masterworks fit for royalty.

Design and digital print specialists Van Iwaarden Artwork, Barneveld, the Netherlands, recreated the pattern for the Oranjezaal using historical and current photographs. Following comprehensive tests of many media, print systems and ink, Van Iwaarden chose UV and latex print on HEYTex® soft blueback indoor banner material, made by HEYTex Technical Textiles, part of HEYTex Bramsche GmbH, Bramsche, Germany. The matte surface and light texture, scratch resistance and dimensional stability of HEYTex soft blueback was an important consideration, but for artistic reproduction the color took center stage. The blue back allows reproduction of brilliant whites and quality colors.

The individual printed surfaces (approximately 1,000 square meters or 10,765 square feet) were placed on large frames, after which the fabric prints were hand painted to add golden highlights comparable to the original artworks. Queen Beatrice of the Netherlands helped open the exhibition on April 25, where art patrons viewed the Oranjezaal’s major Dutch painters of the Golden Age displayed on the ceiling arches and vaults of a royal replica. For more, visit HEYTex.

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