ING Next Rembrandt

ING’s project, “The Next Rembrandt”, has won the Cyber Grand Prix and Creative Data Grand Prix at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Developed in partnership with J Walter Thompson, Amsterdam, the ING Next Rembrandt project involved the development of a new portrait “by Rembrandt”, created by art historians and technicians using data and facial recognition techniques from 346 of Rembrandt’s paintings. ING, a proud sponsor of the Rijksmuseum, contributed to the project along with several other businesses including advertising agency J Walter Thompson, Microsoft and advisors from Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), The Mauritshuis and Museum Het Rembrandthuis. The work of art took almost 18 months to complete, consists of 148 billion pixels and was printed in 3D. Focusing on the work of Rembrandt (1606-1669), one of the world’s greatest painters and a key figure in Dutch history, the project is designed to stimulate conversation around the impact of science and data on the art world, and the evolving relationship between technology and emotion. More details about the painting are available at www.nextrembrandt.com

ING Next Rembrandt


The process to create the finished 3D-printed painting took over 18 months, following painstaking work involving a team of data scientists, developers and Rembrandt experts. Analysis of Rembrandt’s work helped experts arrive at the ideal subject for the new portrait; a Caucasian male aged between 30 and 40, with facial hair, wearing black clothes with a white collar and a hat, facing to the right. After this, the subject’s features were generated in the style of Rembrandt. A facial recognition algorithm identified and classified the most typical geometric patterns used by Rembrandt to paint human features. It then used the learned principles to replicate the style and generate new facial features for the painting. Next, these individual features were assembled into a fully formed face and bust according to Rembrandt’s use of proportions. With the help of TU Delft, a height map was created to identify patterns on the surface of canvases. By transforming pixel data into height data, the computer could mimic the brushstrokes used by Rembrandt. Finally, to bring the painting to life, an advanced 3D printer that is specially designed to make high end reproductions of existing artwork was used. In the end, 13 layers of UV-ink were printed, one on top of the other, to create a realistic painting texture. All this has resulted in a work of art that portrays the power and the beauty of data and technology and that will fuel the conversation about where innovation can take us.

ING Next Rembrandt painting

ING Next Rembrandt Credits

The ING Next Rembrandt campaign was developed at J Walter Thompson Amsterdam by executive creative director/copywriter Bas Korsten, concept team Bas Korsten, Robert Nelk, Mark Peeters, art director Guney Soykan, copywriter Kasia Haupt Canning, tech lead Emanuel Flores, designer Vinesh Gayadin, project director Jesse Houweling, strategist Agustin Soriano, developers Morris Franken and Ben Haanstra, PR manager Jessica Hartley, brand manager Elisah Boektje, screen producers Frederique van der Hoeven and Mariska Fransen, print producer Charier Geurtsen, working with 3D artist Andre Ferwerda, editor Tim Arnold, photographer Robert Harrison, and special art advisors David Navarro, Jeroen van der Most and Ferran Lopez.

Animation was produced at Kreukvrij by Olaf Gremie. The website was produced at Superhero Cheesecake. Filming was shot by director Juliette Stevens via New Amsterdam Film Company with executive producer Sander Verdonk. Sound was produced at Studio Alfred Klaassen.

ING Next Rembrandt staff at ING were director of communications Johan van der Zanden, head of sponsoring Tjitske Benedictus, communication team lead Marc Smulders, senior marketing and communications manager Mirjam Smit, sponsor manager culture Eline Overkleeft, event manager Marleen Hasselo, social media specialist Thijs Jaski

ING Next Rembrandt staff at Microsoft were product marketing manager Niels Lohuis, corporate communication manager Yvette Lansbergen, and Marcom manager Eva de Vries.