The Museum of Prado, located in Madrid, is one of the most famous art galleries in Europe, receiving thousand of tourists from all the globe every year. It has just released a wonderful exhibit that will allow the blind to enjoy some of Western art’s greatest masterpieces by recreating them in textured 3d paintings that allow the paintings to be “viewed” when touched.
These 3D copies of the paintings, developed with help from experts who are also visually impaired, were created using a 3D printing technique called Didu.
The idea is that the raised 3d images will make it easier for blind people to perceive and create mental images of the six paintings in the exhibit. The paintings come with audio guides and braille texts, and non-blind visitors can receive darkened glasses to experience the new paintings as they were intended.
The 3D-printing technique was developed by Estudios Durero, a design agency in Bilbao, Spain. The technique involves optimizing a photo of the image to represent its physical details, printing it with a specialized printer, and then treating it with a special 12-hour chemical process to give it volume.
This exhibition will be open until June 28th. If you’re in Madrid, visit the museum to try touching even the famous Gioconda!