3D computer model of an Old Master sculpture

In 1999, Jack V. Wasserman, an Art Historian at Temple University, (Philadelphia, PA, USA) and help from the researchers of the T.J. Watson Center of International Business Machines (Yorktown Heights, NY, USA), created a Three-dimensional computer model of an Old Master sculpture. They chose the Florentine Pieta sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti (circa 1550). This sculpture is large marble group depicting the body of Jesus supported by Nicodemus, the Virgin Mary, and Mary Magdalene. The sculpture was photographed and laser scanned in great (minute) detail, the scan and photos were then assembled into a three-dimensional computer model. With this computer model researchers from around the world would be able to rotated and examined at close range from any angle, with out actually seeing the sculpture in person.

      1999, 1550
      Jack V. Wasserman
      Art Historian at Temple University
      Philadelphia, PA, USA
3D model of:
      Florentine Pieta by Michelangelo Buonarroti (circa 1550)

Additional Information:

  • Michelangelo Buonarroti – Artsy
    A founder of the High Italian Renaissance style, Michelangelo (di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni) created some of the most influential works in the history of Western art: the marble statues of David (1504) and The Pietà (ca. 1498-1499), as well as the Sistine Chapel frescos in the Vatican, Rome, depicting Genesis (such as in The Creation of Adam (1510)) and the Last Judgment.
  • The Preservation of Culture Through Technology
    Built in 1764, the Hermitage Museum in Russia assembled one of the world’s most important collections of art—more than 3,000,000 pieces. It was the brainchild of Tsarina Catherine the Great. More than 230 years later, IBM collaborated with the Hermitage to make it one of the most technologically advanced museums in the world.
  • Building a Digital Model of Michelangelo’s Florentine Pieta
    We describe a project to create a three-dimensional digital model of Michelangelo’s Florentine Pieta. The model is being used in a comprehensive art-historical study of this sculpture that includes a consideration of historical records and artistic significance as well as scientific data.
  • Creating Digital Archives of 3D Artworks
    Recent improvements in laser rangefinder technology, together with algorithms for combining multiple range and color images, allow us to reliably and accurately digitize the external shape and surface characteristics of many physical objects. Examples include machine parts, design models, toys, and artistic and cultural artifacts.

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