Digitisation of Palazzo Cini Gallery

The Lucida 3D Scanner recording the surface of one of the Polittico Griffoni panels © Joan Porcel
Palazzo Cini during the digitisation process © Joan Porcel
Gabriel Scarpa recording the colour with composite photography © Joan Porcel
Unframing one of the Polittico Griffoni panels before recording © Joan Porcel
The Lucida 3D Scanner recording Pontormo's Portrait of Two Friends © Joan Porcel
Unframing paintings before recording © Joan Porcel
Unframing panels before recording © Joan Porcel
Palazzo Cini during the digitisation process © Joan Porcel

2023 – Ongoing

Thanks to the collaboration between the Fondazione Giorgio Cini’s Istituto di Storia dell’Arte and Factum Foundation, this unique group of artworks that formed the core of Vittorio Cini’s art collection are being digitised in high-resolution.

ÉQUIPE

  • Luca Massimo Barbero | Fondazione Giorgio Cini
  • Carlos Bayod Lucini | Factum Foundation
  • Costanza Blaskovic | Factum Foundation
  • Chiara Casarin | Fondazione Giorgio Cini
  • Carolina Gris | Factum Foundation
  • Marina Luchetti | Factum Foundation
  • Gabriel Scarpa | Factum Foundation

THE PROJECT

This project is part of the three- and two-dimensional recording plan of the collections of Fondazione Giorgio Cini in high resolution for preservation, dissemination and study purposes, increasing at the same time the knowledge of the heritage. Moreover, the outputs are intended to improve the accessibility of the heritage both for schools’ students and scholars and for a greater public.

In February 2023 Factum Foundation completed the recording of the paintings collection of Palazzo Cini Gallery (47 paintings), coordinating with the staff of the Technical Department of Fondazione Cini and the Institute of Art History, and based on the information provided by the director of the Institute, responsible for the Cini art collection. All used systems are non-contact, high resolution methods especially developed or adapted for the field of art documentation, completely safe for the original artworks. The recording systems include the following: Lucida 3D Scanner (for capturing the surface texture of paintings and other low-relief objects); panoramic composite photography (for capturing the colour).

When possible, paintings have been recorded unframed, placing the canvas or panels on an easel with the surface plane perpendicular to the floor (as both the Lucida 3D scanning and the panoramic photography processes require to operate). When it was not possible to remove the frames or to unhang a painting from the wall, the team recorded the painting and frame in their usual location, adapting as much as possible the system to the requirements of each piece. In all cases, it was necessary to remove any protective glass for high resolution recording.

In June 2023, factum experts completed the post-processing of the data, giving as first result a multilayer viewer to inspect in depth both the colour surface and the 3D for each painting. The work provides an accurate database that will help monitor the conservation state of the paintings, study the works in detail both as images and physical objects and disseminate their artistic and historic value.

This will then lead to the creation of online virtual tours and didactic contents for people who are unable to come to Venice and for all scholars with disabilities. A ministerial grant application has been submitted to receive fundings to cover part of the costs of this project and to allow for further documentation.

Detail of Madonna con il Bambino, Lorenzo Costa, 1505 circa
Detail of La zuffa, Dosso Dossi, 1521-1522 circa
Colour, 3D rendering and colour+3D of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, Ercole de' Roberti, 1470-1473
Colour, 3D rendering and colour+3D of San Girolamo, Ercole de' Roberti, 1470-1473

OBJECTIVES

The 3D and colour recording of the paintings in the collection of Palazzo Cini Gallery (47 paintings), the post-processing and creation of dissemination tools for preservation and study purposes.

DEVELOPMENTS

1. Preparation

Start of the project, handling of the works for the removal of frames and protective glass from the paintings, inspection and installation of photographic equipment. 

2. Recording

Recording of the surface of paintings with Lucida scanner 3D e recording the colour of the painting with panoramic composite photography. 

3. Collecting data

Saving, optimization and post-processing of data for the creation of the multilayered viewer. 

viewer

Technologies

Lucida 3D Scanner

The Lucida 3D Scanner is a non-contact laser recording system that captures high-resolution surface texture data for low-relief surfaces. It records 3D data in 48 cm x 48 cm ’tiles’ by projecting [...]

Panoramic Composite Photography

Panoramic Composite Photography is a 2D non-contact method for capturing the color surface of objects such as works of art. A specialist version of the technique can capture accurate and high-resoluti[...]

Large Scale Digitisation Recording the Cini Collection: Tapestries

Detail of the Lucida 3D Scanner recording © Oscar Parasiego for Factum Foundation
Detail of the tapestry © Oscar Parasiego for Factum Foundation
The ARCHiVe team unrolling the tapestry © Oscar Parasiego for Factum Foundation
The Lucida 3D Scanner recording the surface of the tapestry © Oscar Parasiego for Factum Foundation
The Lucida 3D Scanner recording the surface of the tapestry © Oscar Parasiego for Factum Foundation
Detail of the Lucida 3D Scanner custom software creating a shaded render of the 3D data © Oscar Parasiego for Factum Foundation
Detail of the tapestry © Oscar Parasiego for Factum Foundation

2022

ARCHiVe has successfully concluded the first high-resolution digital recording of a significant tapestry from the Fondazione Giorgio Cini collection: The Entry into Palestine of the Army of Vespasian.

Current équipe

  • Luca Massimo Barbero | Fondazione Giorgio Cini
  • Carlos Bayod Lucini | Factum Foundation
  • Costanza Blaskovic | Factum Foundation
  • Teresa Casado | Factum Foundation
  • Chiara Casarin | Fondazione Giorgio Cini
  • Osama Dawod | Factum Foundation
  • Carolina Gris | Factum Foundation
  • Eduardo Lopez | Factum Foundation
  • Ilenia Maschietto | Fondazione Giorgio Cini

the project

Dated between 1470 and 1480, this Franco-Flemish tapestry, crafted from cartoons by the Master of Coëtivy, stands as one of the earliest and most pivotal pieces in the entire collection. It is part of a series depicting the destruction of Jerusalem.

Recently recognized as the right half of another textile work housed in the collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Lyon, the tapestry’s recording, preservation, and restoration have become top priorities for the Fondazione Giorgio Cini. The digital documentation of the tapestry’s surface marks a crucial stride in comprehending its material structure. ARCHiVe undertook a comprehensive documentation process, capturing the tapestry’s shape, texture, and color through a blend of 3D and 2D non-contact scanning technology.

objectives

The project’s objective is to facilitate the preservation, study, and dissemination of the collection’s tapestries through the utilization of digital technologies.

Developments

1. PRELIMINARY PHASE

Following a preliminary assessment and careful selection of the tapestries based on their preservation status, the chosen piece has been relocated to ARCHiVe in anticipation of the recording process. A training session was conducted for the team to adeptly handle the manipulation and unrolling of the tapestry. The tapestry was strategically positioned in a horizontal orientation on the floor, placed atop a protective cloth.

The scanner structure was then configured horizontally, facing downward to capture the surface of the tapestry consistently from a fixed distance of approximately 10 cm. This scanning apparatus was securely mounted on a bridge-like structure spanning about 4 m.

2. recording

The Factum Foundation team conducted a high-resolution 3D and colour recording of the tapestry using advanced non-contact digital technology, specifically tailored for the preservation of art and heritage. Lucida is designed to digitise the surface of low-relief objects with high precision. Composite photography produces a single colour image through the integration of multiple photographs in high resolution. The combination of these individual photographs ensures accuracy up to an average error of less than 1 pixel. It’s noteworthy that the colour recording took place separately from the 3D scanning, encompassing both the front and back of the tapestry. The camera was securely affixed to the bridge-like frame at a distance of approximately 50-70 cm. 

3. image processing

The final phase involves image processing and the development of a visualisation browser to explore the tapestry (both its color and texture) at a high resolution.

The digital acquisition of the object is crucial for accurately documenting its current state of preservation, monitoring changes over time and assessing possible restoration processes. But it is also fundamental for art historical research, as browser-based visualisation allows analysis in a completely new and enhanced way compared to the past.

Results

The recording of the tapestries constitutes a component of ARCHiVe’s initiative to digitise the entire island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice. This comprehensive effort spans from the architectural level to the precise sub-millimetre scanning of particular artworks and documents within the Fondazione Giorgio Cini collections.

The result is available for online viewing through a multi-layered browser developed by Factum.

viewer

Technologies

Lucida 3D Scanner

The Lucida 3D Scanner is a non-contact laser recording system that captures high-resolution surface texture data for low-relief surfaces. It records 3D data in 48 cm x 48 cm ’tiles’ by projecting [...]

Panoramic Composite Photography

Panoramic Composite Photography is a 2D non-contact method for capturing the color surface of objects such as works of art. A specialist version of the technique can capture accurate and high-resoluti[...]