Markus Brunetti, Wells Cathedral Church of St. Andrews, 2015-2016 Archival Pigment Print (© Markus Brunetti, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York)
Markus Brunetti, Borgund, Stavkyrkje, 2016-2017, Archival Pigment Print (© Markus Brunetti, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York)
Markus Brunetti, Vendome, Eglise de la Trinité, 2013–2018 Archival Pigment Print (© Markus Brunetti, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York)
Markus Brunetti, Trani, Cattedrale di San Nicola Pellegrino, 2014–2018 Archival Pigment Print (© Markus Brunetti, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York)

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Thousands of Photographs Created These Hyper-Real Portraits of Historic Buildings

German artist Markus Brunetti brings a high-tech approach to capturing centuries-old cathedrals

smithsonian.com

German photographer Markus Brunetti has taken a unique, digital approach to photographing historic monuments.

Instead of capurting the buildings and subjects in one shot, Brunetti takes thousands of high-resolution, detail shots of a single monument before digitally compiling the images into one larger-than-life portrait.

This high-tech approach to capturing centuries-old cathedrals, churches, synagogues and other structures is currently at the center of his show, "Markus Brunetti: FACADES–Grand Tour," at the Yossi Milo Gallery in New York City, open through April 7.

Brunetti's works can span more than four feet high, a scale intended to swallow viewers in the architecutural spaces. In order to complete his hyper-realistic interpretations of historic monuments, Brunetti tells Brook Mason for Architectural Digest that he first photographs monuments top to bottom, focusing on small details at a time. He then strips out modern-day elements “from streetlights to cars, and finally select individual images."

This incredibly detailed approach means that it can take him months to capture images of a single monument; The New Yorker’s Andrea K. Scott writes that he once spent eight years on one image of the Duomo di Santa Maria Nascente, in Milan.

According to The New York Times’ Jamie Sims, Brunetti and his partner, photographer Betty Schoener, have spent more a decade traveling through Western Europe in a truck to capture photographs in painstainking detail. And Mason of Architectural Digest reports that the duo just completed a trip through Lithuania, Italy, Portugal, England and France.

They plan on going to Russia and Middle Asia next.

About Julissa Treviño

Julissa Treviño is a writer and journalist based in Texas. She has written for Columbia Journalism Review, BBC Future, The Dallas Morning News, Racked, CityLab and Pacific Standard.

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