John Singer Sargent’s Gassed

In May 2023, the Imperial War Museum in London reached out to Factum Foundation to carry out the high-resolution recording of Gassed by John Singer Sargent, considered one of the most important war-related works of art of the past centuries.

The two Lucida 3D Scanners recording the painting © IWM-Kathleen-Arundell

The imposing painting, measuring 2.3 m x 6.11 m, depicts British soldiers after a mustard gas attack, seeking treatment. An improvised game of football is going on in the background while biplanes, painted with extraordinary economy and realism fly overhead.

The recording was planned as part of a major restoration of the painting that revealed the original colours under a layer of yellowed varnish. The high-resolution data of the painting’s surface and colour acquired by Factum Foundation will form part of the artwork’s conservation history, , providing evidence of Sargent’s working method and great technical facility.

Marina Luchetti operating the Lucida 3D Scanner to record the surface of the painting © IWM-Kathleen-Arundell

Marina Luchetti and Celestia Anstruther showing the data of the painting scanned with the Lucida in real time to the Imperial War Museum staff © IWM-Kathleen-Arundell

Detail of one of the airplanes on the top left of the painting. In this detail, a snapshot taken on a mobile phone(left) and a render of the actual surface (right) the two impasto lines appear abstract. In to painting, from normal viewing distance the colour and relief create a realistic image of a biplane