3D Printed Zoetrope Animates Rubens’ Famous Painting, “The Massacre of the Innocents”

In the 17th cen­tu­ry, the Flem­ish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens paint­ed “The Mas­sacre of the Inno­cents” (see below), an artis­tic depic­tion of a very brief Bib­li­cal pas­sage in The Gospel of Matthew. The pas­sage recounts the sto­ry of how Herod the Great, a Roman client king of Judea, ordered the exe­cu­tion of young male chil­dren in Beth­le­hem, hop­ing to avoid los­ing his throne to a new­ly-born King of the Jews. And it reads like this:

Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceed­ing­ly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male chil­dren who were in Beth­le­hem and in all its dis­tricts, from two years old and under, accord­ing to the time which he had deter­mined from the wise men. Then was ful­filled what was spo­ken by Jere­mi­ah the prophet, say­ing:

“A voice was heard in Ramah,
Lamen­ta­tion, weep­ing, and great mourn­ing,
Rachel weep­ing for her chil­dren,
Refus­ing to be com­fort­ed,
Because they are no more.”

In the 21st cen­tu­ry, Sebas­t­ian Bur­don and Mat Coll­ishaw have now come along and cre­at­ed “All Things Fall,” a 3d zoetrope that brings the “Mas­sacre of the Inno­cents” to life. Using a 19th cen­tu­ry opti­cal tech­nique that pro­duces the illu­sion of motion, the zoetrope vir­tu­al­ly ani­mates the grue­some Bib­li­cal scene. You can watch it play out, eeri­ly, above.

Accord­ing to Bur­don, it took “6 months to do all the 3d mod­el­ing and ani­ma­tions” and involved “cre­at­ing over 350 char­ac­ter fig­ures, envi­ron­ment ele­ments and archi­tec­ture. A pret­ty stun­ning effort.


Relat­ed Con­tent:

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