Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring” is not a very large painting, but the replica recently created by researchers in China and the USA is even smaller. Scientists at Nanjing University, University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology have fine-tuned an existing technology so that it not only filters through light of different colors using an array of nanoscale structures, but also projects light with different intensities. To show their new method in action, they used it to generate a projection of Vermeer’s painting, including all the detail of the shaded areas.
The mechanism they used involved a set of tiny titanium dioxide pillars mounted on a small glass plate. The pillars are only