Anton Van Dyck, Philip Herbert, 4th Earl of Pembroke, with his Family, c. 1635 © Ph. Will Pryce | Collection of The Earl of Pembroke & the Wilton House Trust
Philip Herbert, 4th Earl of Pembroke, and his Family (1635 - oil on canvas - 330 x 510 cm<) is the largest painting ever made by Anton van Dyck, a joint portrait of the 4th Earl of Pembroke, his wife and children. All figures are slightly larger than life size and the impressive painting dominates the so-called Double Cube room at Wilton House, the Pembroke’s ancestral home for over four and a half centuries.
In March 2020, before the shutdown of museums in the UK, a team from Factum Foundation was in the process of recording the portrait in high resolution using the Lucida 3D Scanner and panoramic composite photography. Through a high-resolution recording in 3D and colour, it will be possible to generate an archive of the painting's surface as a resource for conservation, study and dissemination purposes. The data, which will belong to the owner of the painting, could also be used to make an exact facsimile of the painting if required in the future.
Gabriel Scarpa recording the colour using panoramic composite photography © Factum Foundation
Elizabeth Mitchell operating the Lucida 3D Scanner to record the surface of the painting © Factum Foundation
Detail of the Lucida 3D Scanner recording the surface of the painting © Factum Foundation
The colour recording of the painting was completed in March employing panoramic composite photography, and the recording of the surface relief using the Lucida 3D Scanner will resume from 6th to 23rd July.
Factum Foundation hopes that this major project will be the first of many digital preservation initiatives involving English Heritage.
The exterior of Wilton House, the Pembroke's ancestral home © Factum Foundation