News


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News from Dagestan
News from Dagestan

A team from Factum Foundation is in Dagestan to install a new portable manuscript scanner for the Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography in Makhachkala. The scanner will be taken on expeditions into Dagestan's mountains as part of a long-term campaign to digitise and study the thousands of Islamic manuscripts held by private collections in the region.

Factum, in collaboration with the Peri Foundation, has been working with the IHAE since 2016. The project has involved the creation of high-resolution book scanning systems integrated by means of custom-designed software for sustainable data storage and preservation.

Read more about the project here.

The facsimile of the tomb of Seti I at the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo
The facsimile of the tomb of Seti I at the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo

The exact facsimile of the sarcophagus of Seti I, produced in 2017 by the Factum Foundation and initially part of the exhibition "Scanning Seti: The regeneration of a Pharaonic Tomb", is currently on view at the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo. The objects in the new exhibition "Images of Egypt" intend to reflect an ancient landscape in radical transformation.

"Images of Egypt" shows the monumental book Description de l'Égypte (1809-1829) with the amazingly detailed illustrations of Napoleonic drawings, but also the image flood that followed the wake of the French invasion and which made ancient Egypt a part of western modernity. Temples, obelisks and sarcophagi were exported to the whole world; followed by newspaper reports on groundbreaking logistics and engineering, sketches and prints, panoramas, paintings, photography and postcards. "Images of Egypt" shows works in this tradition; among them exclusive Sévres porcelain, commissioned by Napoleon, architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel's scenographs to Mozart's Magic Flute (1815) and David Hockney's sensational scenarios for the same 1977 opera, recently excavated plaster antiques from the film set of Cecil B. DeMille's biblical epic The Ten Commandments (1923) and Factum Foundation's facsimile of Seti's sarcophagus (in collaboration with Arte).

Visit the museum's website.

Venice: Homo Faber, Veronese, workshop
Venice: Homo Faber, Veronese, workshop

During the exhibition Homo Faber: Crafting a more human future (14-30 Sept. 2018) at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice, two works by Italian Renaissance painter Paolo Veronese are being digitised with the foundation's Lucida 3D scanner. In collaboration with Open Care's Department of Conservation and Restoration (Milan), Factum Foundation is scanning Veronese's diptych, depicting the Prophet Isaiah and the Prophet Ezekiel, owned by the Gallerie dell'Accademia. The data, gathered before and after the diptych's restoration, will be used to inform and document the cleaning of the paintings.

As part of this initiative, a practical workshop on surface 3D scanning will be carried out by a team from Factum Foundation on September 21st - applications open here.

New recordings
New recordings

This week, we have started the recordings of Raphael's cartoons at the V&A Museum in the UK, the ferroconcrete Research Vessel Heraclitus in Spain and a rock art cave under threat from flooding as a result of deforestation in Brasil... The beginning of September 2018 preludes amazingly busy months for the Foundation's team, with a clear focus on demonstrating the importance of documenting, monitoring, studying, recreating and disseminating the world’s cultural heritage through the rigorous development of high-resolution recording.

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Fundación Casa Ducal de Medinaceli
Fundación Casa Ducal de Medinaceli

The recording of the tomb of Cardinal Tavera initiated a collaboration with the Fundación Casa Ducal de Medinaceli that is a great example of what is possible when different foundations work together to record, archive, analyse, preserve and communicate the importance of Cultural Heritage.

The first stage of the work, the complete high-resolution recording of the tomb is now finalised. The captured data was processed using the photogrammetry software Reality Capture.

Read more.

Recording the Cellini Bell at the British Museum
Recording the Cellini Bell at the British Museum

The extraordinary 'Cellini Bell' by Wenzel Jamnitzer (1507/1508 to 1585) was recently recorded at the British Museum in London. This highly intricate cast and chased silver bell was amongst the most difficult objects Factum Foundation has ever recorded. It is now being replicated in silver using several techniques to try to retain the extraordinary level of detail that characterises Jamnitzer's work. It will be included in the exhibition Lost Treasure of Strawberry Hill (20th October - 24th February 2019) in Twickenham.

Read more.

Recording of 11 shabti figurines of Seti I
Recording of 11 shabti figurines of Seti I

A team from Factum Foundation has started the photogrammetric recording of eleven shabti statuettes from the tomb of Seti I (1290-1279BC) in the Valley of the Kings. These statuettes are part of the permanent collection of the Museo Civico Archeologico of Bologna (MCABo). The information recorded will be included in a virtual rendition of Giovanni Battista Belzoni's 1821 exhibition at the Egyptian Hall in London, a digital monograph part of the Brown University digital publishing initiative, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This will hopefully be the first step toward a future collaboration to preserve and enhance the MCA's Egyptian collection.

Shabtis
Ten statuettes are made of wood and one of faïence. Highly artistic in quality and larger in size, the latter shows the sovereign with the regal nemes headdress, the usekh pectoral as well as wide bracelets on his wrists, dotted with cobalt blue on a ground lapis lazuli. These shabtis, discovered in 1817 by Belzoni in the pharaoh’s tomb along with hundreds of other specimens, were created to be resuscitated magically through the formula written on their bodies - Chapter 6 of the Book of the Dead - responding to their owner (shabti means “answerer”) and standing in his stead in the agricultural work of the afterlife. The weeding hoes in the ruler’s hands and the sack for seeds on his shoulders served this purpose.

The Museo Civico Archeologico of Bologna
The MCA of Bologna contains the exceptional archaeological collections from the former Museo Universitario, the donated collection of painter Pelagio Palagi, and from the excavations effected in Bologna and the surrounding area between the end of the 19th century and the early 20th century.

The Lucida Lab Milano recording J. B. Jackson's Chiaroscuro woodcuts
The Lucida Lab Milano recording J. B. Jackson's Chiaroscuro woodcuts

A team from the Lucida Lab Milano started the recording of J. B. Jackson's Chiaroscuro woodcuts, in Palazzo Sturm, Bassano del Grappa's Civic Museum. Palazzo Sturm is one of the few museums in Italy dedicated to showing every aspect of Remondini’s industrial process within the 16th and 17th centuries as well as the phases in the production of books, decorated papers, religious and popular print makings, games, optical views, etchings and woodcuts.

Read more about the Lucida Lab Milano.

Registration opening: Digital Transformation teaching programme
Registration opening: Digital Transformation teaching programme

The registration is now open for the Digital Transformation teaching programme that will be given by Carlos Bayod Lucini, Project Director at Factum Foundation. The programme is an initiative from the Fundación Amigos Museo del Prado and will be held in Madrid from 6 to 27 March 2019.

About the programme: Digital technology is changing methods and results in both artistic creation and heritage conservation. The growing advances in software and capturing systems (3D scanning, photogrammetry), visualization (virtual reality, augmented reality) and manufacturing (3D printing) are making possible a different interaction with our cultural environment. The diffusion of new technologies and their combination with traditional techniques greatly increase the creative and productive possibilities. The figure of the digital craftsman appears, a mediator between the physical and virtual world, while multidisciplinary teams are increasingly necessary for the development of innovative artistic projects. The new technologies favor, in short, the development of complex creative processes in which digital allows a more direct access to the material.

More information on the Fundación Amigos Museo del Prado's website.

Recording "Maria Sèthe, afterwards Madame Henry Van de Velde" by Theo Van Rysselberghe
Recording "Maria Sèthe, afterwards Madame Henry Van de Velde" by Theo Van Rysselberghe

Factum Foundation's team started the digitisation of the painting "Maria Sèthe, afterwards Madame Henry Van de Velde" by Theo Van Rysselberghe, collection of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp.

Read more on recording projects here.

'Saved by the Bell!' - The Resurrection of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry
'Saved by the Bell!' - The Resurrection of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry

Factum Foundation is launching a new initiative in partnership with The United Kingdom Historic Building Preservation Trust (UKHBPT) to resurrect the historic Whitechapel Bell Foundry as a working foundry for the 21st century. The WBF was acquired in 2017 and the manufacture of the bells which have continuously been made at the site since the reign of Elizabeth I ceased.

The Factum Foundation & UKHBPT proposal presents an innovative vision for the future of one of the United Kingdom's finest cultural and heritage assets, bringing internationally renowned artists and craftspeople together with the local community in an endeavour to ensure its future as an economically viable, environmentally sustainable and socially engaged space. The aim of the proposal document is to convince the current owners of the building, Raycliffe Whitechapel LLP, either to participate in the resurrection of the WBF, or to sell the property to allow this to happen.

Read the full proposal, prepared by Skene Catling de la Peña.

Recording Parmigianino's self-portrait in Vienna
Recording Parmigianino's self-portrait in Vienna

A few days ago, Factum Foundation's team went to the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna to record Parmigianino's self-portrait in a Convex Mirror (1524). This small painting, measuring just about 20 cm in diameter, is one of the masterpieces in the museum's Picture Gallery. The Lucida 3D Scanner was used to obtain detailed information of the panel's surface, which has a characteristic convex shape and very subtle texture, as well as its back side. Additionally, the painting was recorded with high-resolution photography and photogrammetry. The data will be used for documentation and dissemination purposes in collaboration with the KHM.

Factum Arte's profile, by Patek Philippe
Factum Arte's profile, by Patek Philippe

"The idea really is something like the old renaissance workshops where people with many different skills, work to pursue a common goal." In his interview by Patek Philippe Magazine, Adam Lowe talks about Factum Arte, Factum Foundation, the creative energy that animates the workshops and the contemporary artists, artisans and secular masterpieces that run them.

To know more about the articulation of this unique place where artists, technicians and artisans join their passions and experiment with cutting-edge technologies, like art students in a playground, you can watch this video and read the corresponding article published by Patek Philippe Magazine.

Recording Murillo's frames in Seville
Recording Murillo's frames in Seville

In February and March 2018, Factum Foundation digitized two large paintings by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo – The Miracle of the Fish and Bread and Moses drawing water from the rock – at the Instituto Andaluz de Patrimonio Histórico in Seville.

As part of the project, the paintings' two ornate gilded frames, made by Bernardo Simón de Pineda, one of the preeminent altarpiece sculptors of 17th century Seville, were also digitised with close-range photogrammetry.

This project was carried out in collaboration with the Hermandad de la Santa Caridad, the Caixa Foundation and the IAPH. Both paintings are currently on view at the exhibition “Murillo cercano: Miradas cruzadas” at the Hospital de la Claridad in Seville. To learn more about Murillo's work in Seville click here.

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth
Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth

An innovative cartographic model of Middle-earth is exhibited at the Bodleian Library's exhibition Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth from June, 1st - October, 28th. The exhibition comprises drawings and notes made by Tolkien whilst he was composing The Lord of the Rings.

In conjunction with Factum Foundation, Factum Arte's contribution features a dynamic 4D map carved into translucent resin and surrounded by elvish lettering routed into aluminium. A screen-based video is visible through the translucent material and a video-projection, mounted above the map, adds further layers of factual and atmospheric information, including the routes taken by the main characters in the trilogy. Four-dimensional mapping of this kind is becoming increasingly important as the past and present inform each other.

To get some sense of the imaginative potential of the map, visit the exhibition in Oxford.

Toponyms in the Book of Roger
Toponyms in the Book of Roger

Aliaa Ismail, an egyptologist and Arabic speaker, is studying the toponyms in the 12th century map compiled by the Muslim cartographer Al-Idrisi from travel accounts collected in Sicily at the court of the Norman King Roger II. The maps in a 16th century Egyptian manuscript copy of the Book of Roger were digitised by Factum Foundation at the Bodleian Library in 2017. Using this data, Ismail will assemble a database cross-referencing the toponyms with the text that accompanies the map, tracing land and sea routes taken by travellers in the Middle Ages. Perhaps one of the most interesting examples describes the source of the Nile as the ‘Mountain of the Moon’. The waters were thought to collect in a lake from where they split into two rivers stretching north - the Egyptian Nile - and west - the Sudan Nile - at a mountain known as Al-Qasm or ‘the partition’.

Read more.

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