The Creation of Animals: recording and research
in collaboration with the Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice
The Lucida 3D Scanner recording the surface of the painting © Marina Luchetti | Factum Foundation
ARCHiVe have just completed a new high-resolution recording of Tintoretto's painting The Creation of Animals from the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice. This is a pilot project in collaboration with art historian Cleo Nisse from Columbia University, who examined several paintings from the museum over the past two years, as part of a research agreed with the Gallerie.
Nisse is focused on the transition from panel to canvas as a painting support in Renaissance Venice. While this transition came about partly for practical reasons, her research reveals how working on a flexible textured surface changed processes of painting, including the way brush marks were made and conceived on the support, and how the substrate impacts the final appearance of pictures.
Tintoretto often used canvases made of fragments of fabric stitched together. The Creation of the Animals is on supports constructed from three irregularly sized pieces of canvas with two different weave patterns. The seams connecting them arguably interact with the image: for instance, a joint runs along the edge of the tree trunk. The thin paint layer allows the varied texture of the textile foundation to permeate to the surface, while the occasional punctuation of impasto brushstrokes provides further dimensionality. 3D imaging by the Lucida Scanner will help understand and communicate the relative roles of texture and color in this dynamic painting.
The Director of the Gallerie dell'Accademia, Giulio Manieri Elia, and PhD candidate Cleo Nisse discussing the scan of the painting with Factum Foundation's Marina Luchetti © Gabriel Scarpa | Factum Foundation