Facsimiles of George Vertue's copies of Holbein's portraits

Originals recorded at Sudeley Castle, 2017
Facsimiles on display at Strawberry Hill House, 2017

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Factum Foundation has created 33 facsimiles of George Vertue´s copies of Hans Holbein’s drawings depicting Henry VIII’s court members.

  • Facsimiles installed at Strawberry House

Holbein´s portraits were found in 1727 by King George II’s wife, Caroline of Ansbach, tucked away in a bureau in Kensington Palace, London. In 1743, renowned artist and engraver, George Vertue made copies of 33 of the discovered works, with the idea of turning them into engravings. Vertue´s drawings were purchased by Horace Walpole in 1757 and had been on display at Strawberry Hil House until 1842, when they were sold to the Dent family following Walpole´s death in 1797. The drawings have remained at their home, Sudeley Castle to this day.

A combination of techniques were used to digitize and re-materialize George Vertue´s copies. Both 2D image and colour information were recorded using high-resolution composite panoramic photography. The drawings relief and frames were scanned using a combination of Lucida 3D scanning and photogrammetry.

  • Recording George Vertue´s copies at Sudeley Castle in January 2017
  • View of Sudeley Castle

The 2D and 3D information was merged then processed into a 3D model, which was printed using Factum Arte´s digital flatbed printer.The frames were routed in high-density polyurethane and painted by hand.

  • The portrait's color information was printed on a modified, flabed printer
  • Final details were added by hand
  • All 33 frames were hand painted
  • Assembling frames and portraits

The 33 facsimiles are now on display in the same room Horace Walpole hung them in Strawberry Hill House.

  • The 33 facsimiles of George Vertue´s copies have returned to Stawberry Hill House

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