‘Recording Giulio Romano. Shape & Surface’: A workshop

Organised by Factum Foundation and ARCHiVe as part of the programme ‘Fare Arte’ conceived by the Scuola di Palazzo Te, the workshop Recording Giulio Romano: Shape & Surface aims to introduce students and professionals to the techniques and methods of digital preservation, which Factum Foundation has been pioneering through a number of international projects around the world.

The Lucida 3D Scanner recording the surface of a detail in the Giardino Segreto © Factum Foundation

From September 12th until September 16th, the 30-hour workshop introduces the theoretical and practical methodologies for digital recording, while carrying out a real digitisation project inside Palazzo Te in Mantua, Italy. 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.

The workshop focuses on recording specific art and architecture elements in Palazzo Te, mainly frescoes and stucco reliefs, employing non-contact systems such as close-range photogrammetry, panoramic photography, Lucida 3D Scanner and LiDAR 3D Scanning (for interior and exterior spaces). Working with Factum and 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. In line with Factum Foundation’s principles, all data was then provided to Palazzo Te to help the preservation and study of the artworks.

Each day will be divided into three complementary sessions:

a) Theory: introduction to general concepts and strategies of digital preservation (1.5 h/day)
b) Tutorial: introduction to a specific recording methodology, from capturing to processing (1.5 h/day)
c) Fieldwork: digitisation of selected elements in Palazzo Te (3 h/day)

Teachers: Carlos Bayod, Osama Dawod and Gabriel Scarpa (Factum Foundation, Madrid), Carolina Gris and Marina Luchetti (ARCHiVe), Costanza Blaskovic and Ilenia Maschietto (Fondazione Giorgio Cini).
Additionally, Nick Walkley from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design was invited to present his research about digital ornament.

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 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.

Carlos Bayod introducing the theoretical part of the workshop to the students © Osama Dawod for Factum Foundation

Guided tour in the Camera dei Venti © Osama Dawod for Factum Foundation

Marina Luchetti setting up the Lucida 3D Scanner © Factum Foundation