Recording Giulio Romano. Shape & Surface

Recording Giulio Romano. Shape & Surface: theory classes at Palazzo Te © Osama Dawod for Factum Foundation
Lucida 3D scanner recording the frescoes in the Secret Garden Lodge © Osama Dawod for Factum Foundation
ARCHiVe team presenting the laboratories at Fondazione Giorgio Cini © Osama Dawod for Factum Foundation
Panoramic Composite Photography training © Osama Dawod for Factum Foundation

key details

12 September — 16 September 2022
Mantua, Palazzo Te
30 hours; 9:30am — 6:30pm


During September 2022, as part of the programme ‘Fare Arte’ conceived by the Scuola di Palazzo Te, Factum Foundation in the context of ARCHiVe activities organised the workshop Recording Giulio Romano: Shape & Surface, introducing students and professionals to the techniques and methods of digital preservation.

The 30-hour workshop transferred theoretical and practical methodologies for digital recording, while carrying out a real digitisation project inside Palazzo Te in Mantua, focusing on recording specific art and architecture elements, mainly frescoes and stucco reliefs (XVI Century, mainly by Giulio Romano). Nine international professionals, PhD researchers and graduate students coming from Italy, Canada, Estonia and India participated in the initiative. Their diverse backgrounds and interests coming from different studies in Art & Cultural Heritage, Digital Humanities, Industrial Design, Political Science and Marketing enriched the workshop, offering new visions and points of view on digital recording.

Attendants were split into groups to provide each person with the opportunity to practice with the recording systems (photogrammetry, panoramic photography, Lucida 3D Scanner and LiDAR 3D Scanning) and to become familiar with the methodologies.

Working with ARCHiVe’s experts to carry out the digitisation tasks on site, the students’ work resulted in high-resolution digital recordings of Giulio Romano’s architectural masterpiece. 

Time for questions and discussions during the classes © Osama Dawod for Factum Foundation
Photogrammetry hands-on session © Osama Dawod for Factum Foundation
LiDAR recording session in the courtyard of Palazzo Te © Osama Dawod for Factum Foundation


Each day was divided into three complementary sessions: theory (1,5 h/day), tutorials (1,5 h/day), and fieldwork (3 h/day).

Photogrammetry: theory, tutorials and fieldwork

  • Osama Dawod | Factum Foundation
  • Marina Luchetti | Factum Foundation

These classes and hands-on sessions concentrated on close-range photogrammetry, recording smaller and detailed objects, as the sculptural reliefs in the Chambers of Stuccoes and Candelabra. Photogrammetry is a technique that allows to capture both the color and the shape of an object, obtaining data for a 3D model.

Panoramic Composite Photography recording sessions

  • Gabriel Scarpa | Factum Foundation

Panoramic Composite Photography sessions focused on recording wall paintings as the Chamber of Ovid and the Chamber of the Winds to precisely document the colour. The technique requires the shooting of different sections of the same object to achieve maximum resolution and minimise glares.

Lucida 3D Scanner: theory, objectives and practical training

  • Carlos Bayod | Factum Foundation

This innovative 3D recording system has been presented with several case studies and in detail to understand its potential in recording the surface of an object. The practical training allowed to record frescoes and reliefs, capturing with extreme precision the heights of their surfaces.

LiDAR 3D Scanning session

  • Carolina Gris | Factum Foundation

This technique has been presented to the students to achieve 3D models of spaces. LiDAR has been used to record the architectonic spaces of Palazzo Te, both internal rooms and external areas, as the courtyards.

Case study presentation: Digital Ornament

  • Nick Walkley | Oslo School of Architecture and Design

The course has been enriched by a special presentation aimed to show how new digital technologies are shaping trends and new possibilities in the field of Cultural Heritage and artistic production, bringing back the ornaments in architecture and design.

ARCHiVe presentation

  • Costanza Blaskovic | Factum Foundation
  • Ilenia Maschietto | Fondazione Giorgio Cini

The students have been introduced to the multiple activity of ARCHiVe: recording, disseminating and training. The goal was to share the vision of the center, presenting other case studies carried out in the context of a cultural foundation as Fondazione Giorgio Cini.

Final presentation of the results of the workshop

  • all participants

At the end of the week, after gathering the post-processed data, the participants presented to a selected public and to the Director of Palazzo Te, some possible outputs and development of projects, starting from the data gathered during the workshop.

in depth

In line with Factum Foundation’s principles, all data was then provided to Palazzo Te to help the preservation and study of the artworks. One of the main goals of this project was indeed to facilitate research and stimulate comparisons.

Some of Giulio Romano’s designs for Palazzo Te’s decorative elements were objects of a comparative study at ARCHiVe. The research has been carried out by Carolina Gris and Marina Luchetti thanks to the rich bibliographical collections in the Fondazione Giorgio Cini’s Library specialized in art history, establishing a unique link between the two projects. 

Detail of the frescoes in the Lodge compared to preparatory drawings by Giulio Romano © Factum Foundation


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