Canova's Equestrian Statue
Canova's Equestrian Statue

Following the success of the maquette recording of Canova's equestrian statue at the Museo Civico di Bassano del Grappa and under the initiative of Chiara Casarin, the director of the museum, Factum Foundation embarked on a much more ambitious project: to create a digital model of the horse from a 3-metre equestrian statue of Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies, the plaster prototype for which was made by Canova shortly before his death and finished - with many alterations - by his pupil Antonio Calì in 1827. Until the 1950s, the plaster sculpture was a focal point of the museum’s collection, but it was subsequently broken up to allow for the construction of a new lecture hall, with the parts stored in a local palazzo.

Most sections of the statue were scanned using a Breuckmann white light scanner, while fragments which required more complex surface mapping, such as the head and tail, were recorded using photogrammetry. The entire scanning project took two weeks.

Back in Madrid, the processed data was used to digitally restore the horse from the various fragments. To get an idea of how the pieces fit together, scaled versions were 3D printed and assembled manually. Once it was known how the pieces fitted together, the parts were reassembled digitally to create a 3D model. The model was 3D printed to allow the rematerialisation of the horse at a scale of 1:10, cast in bronze.

Digitising Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Digitising Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

In 2017, Factum Foundation documented two paintings by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo at the Hermandad de la Santa Caridad in Seville: the Miracle of the multiplication of the bread and fishes and Moses and the water from the rock of Horeb. The paintings, which had been removed from their usual locations high up on the walls of the Hermandad for conservation by the Instituto Andaluz de Patrimonio Histórico (IAPH), were recorded using the Lucida scanner and composite photography, whilst their frames were recorded using photogrammetry.

High resolution colour reproductions have been made from the data at a 1:1 scale; these will be displayed in the Hermandad de la Santa Caridad in a setting which will allow visitors to examine these magnificent works at close range.

Further information on the project can be found here.

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