Business Insider Today - Inside the Workshop Making World Class 'Fakes'

'Factum Arte in Madrid uses the latest 3D scanning and printing technology to create copies of some of the world's most famous masterpieces — saving them from the ravages of time and even helping to bring back missing works from the dead.'

Many thanks to Paul Rhys and Emilie Iob
Published in December 2020

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Factum: así es el taller en que se fabrican las piezas de las obras de arte contemporáneo

Based in Madrid, Factum Arte consists of a team of artists, technicians and conservators dedicated to digital mediation - both in the production of works for contemporary artists and in the production of facsimiles as part of a coherent approach to preservation and dissemination.
In this video by El País, Adam Lowe, director of Factum Arte and founder of Factum Foundation, explains the ways in which non-contact methodologies are having a growing impact on the world of conservation and are defining the role facsimiles play in in the protection of our cultural heritage.

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New Perspectives on Raphael: an online panel by the Warburg Institute

On 19th November, Michelle O’Malley from the Warburg Institute talked with Ana Debenedetti and Adam Lowe about the recording of Raphael’s Cartoons at the V&A in August 2019. While the discussion focused on Raphael, it also looked more generally at the role of digital recording in light of the museum closures and the restrictions caused by COVID-19. High-resolution recording, display and rematerialisation technologies have serious implications for the study, display and dissemination of works of art - both online and offline access will be increasingly important in providing access to culture.

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The Materiality of the Aura: exhibition walk-through with Adam Lowe

The founder of Factum Foundation, guides you through 'The Materiality of the Aura. New Technologies for Preservation', at Palazzo Fava, Bologna until 10th January 2021. Facsimiles of sculptures, paintings and books, digital restorations and physical recreations, 3D renders, 3D models and a variety of objects are presented in the six rooms of the exhibition, focussing on: the surface of paintings, sculptures, cartography, video-mapping and projections, manuscripts and, finally, Factum Foundation's work in the Valley of the Kings. The city of Bologna, where the Foundation has been involved in projects since 2010, is also a unifying factor tying together many of the rooms.
© A film by Óscar Parasiego for Factum Foundation

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Il Polittico Griffoni rinasce a Bologna - exhibition walkthrough with Adam Lowe

Curated by Mauro Natale in collaboration with Cecilia Cavalca, the exhibition at Palazzo Fava focuses on the importance and meaning of the Polittico Griffoni by displaying, together with the individual panels coming from nine museums and collections across Europe and North America, a facsimile reuniting the Polittico made by Factum Factum Foundation in Factum Arte's workshop.

Adam Lowe, founder of Factum Foundation and director of Factum Arte, guides you through the exhibition, explaining Factum's role in the recording and reuniting the panels scattered among 9 museums and institutions all over the world.
© A film by Óscar Parasiego for Factum Foundation

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Recording 'An Old Woman Cooking Eggs' by Diego Velázquez

On the 4th and 5th February 2020, a team from Factum Foundation has carried out the high-resolution digitisation in 3D and colour of 'An Old Woman Cooking Eggs' at the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh. In this video, Aidan Weston-Lewis, chief curator at National Galleries of Scotland, and Enrique Bocanegra, director of the Casa Natal de Velázquez, talk about the importance and relevance of this collaboration and the potential for digital technologies to recover Velázquez’s legacy, as part of a wider collaboration with CEEH (Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica).
© A film by Óscar Parasiego for Factum Foundation

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Recording the Lamentation over the Dead Christ by Niccolò dell'Arca in Bologna

The sculptural group of the Compianto sul Cristo morto (Lamentation over the Dead Christ) by Niccolò dell’Arca is located in the main chapel of the Church of Santa Maria della Vita, Bologna. The fragility of the seven terracotta statues led Factum Foundation, in collaboration with Genus Bononiae, to record the group in December 2019, as part of the exhibition La Materialità dell’Aura at Palazzo Fava (part of La Riscoperta di un Capolavoro).
Digital recording will open up new possibilities for the study and display of the sculptures – certainly within the virtual sphere, but perhaps even in the physical space of the sanctuary.

More on the project
© Óscar Parasiego and Otto Lowe for Factum Foundation

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Rematerialising the tomb of Raphael

Factum Arte created the starting point of the exhibition Raffaello (1520 - 1483) at the Scuderie del Quirinale, in Rome: a rematerialisation of the painter's tomb. from the Pantheon, with its 19th-century additions removed. Almost all of Factum's departments were involved in this project, with engineers, architects, sculptors, artists, welders and digital experts working side by side on the various elements making up the tomb. Careful planning and teamwork were the keys that allowed Factum to achieve this ambitious result. Watch the whole behind-the-scenes in this video.
© Óscar Parasiego for Factum Foundation

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Malevich’s Black Square - A collaboration with Tretyakov Gallery

The Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow) has produced a short film about how recording Kazimir Malevich's Black Square (1915) with Factum Foundation is helping conservators and researchers find out more about what lies beneath the surface of the most famous painting of the Russian avant-garde. Factum Foundation captured high-resolution 3D and colour data of the painting in 2018. Later, 3D and colour were merged with X-ray and infrared data produced by the Tretyakov to create an online data viewer - the digital facsimile - that allows the user to see the images in relation to one another rather than in isolation. More on this project
© Tretyakov Gallery

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Rematerialising Rembrandt's Portrait of an Elderly Man with Canon Production Printing

Factum Foundation is working with Canon Production Printing (previously Océ - A Canon Company) and the Mauritshuis in the recording and reproduction of Rembrandt's Portrait of an Elderly Man (1667). With 2019 marking the 350th anniversary of the Dutch Master's death, we are joining efforts to demonstrate how new technologies for non-contact digitisation and elevated printing can contribute to the preservation, study and dissemination of one of the artist's most notable works. Find out more
© Óscar Parasiego for Factum Foundation

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ITV News at 10 - Opening of 'Madame de Pompadour in the Frame' at Waddesdon Manor, May 2019

A piece by ITV News at Ten, broadcasted on 22 May 2019.

The exhibition 'Madame de Pompadour in the Frame', open to public from 23 May to 27 October 2019 at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, UK, features the facsimiles of two portraits of Madame de Pompadour by François Boucher. The exhibition allows visitors to examine the facsimiles alongside artefacts of the production process and to watch a video showing the various stages of making. Find out more.

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Photogrammetry Training in Al-Ula

Factum Foundation’s Otto Lowe spent two weeks in the town of Al-Ula, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, teaching a group of fifteen locals how to record cultural heritage in 3D using photogrammetry. It was a collaborative pilot project between the Factum Foundation, Art Jameel, and the Royal Commission of Al-Ula (RCU), and generously funded by Jacob Rothschild. The course took place between the 30thSeptember and 11th October at the Shaden Resort, and involved a class of 10 women and 5 men.
Over a period of seven days, the students recorded at three different sites in the vicinity of Al-Ula. More than 74,000 images were recorded in this time period, with the entire project weighing a total of 1.29TB.

Click here to learn more about this project.

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Adam Lowe's Talk at Be3D Conference, Toronto

Be3D 3D Printing, Scanning, Software + Design Conference 2015
Session 2: The Future of Design

Adam Lowe, Director of Factum Arte, spoke at the Be3D 3D Printing, Scanning, Software + Design Conference, which took place in late 2015. His talk: The Future of Design, discusses the transformations that are required as bridges are built between traditional craft skills and new technologies, using projects developed at Factum Arte as a basis on which he talks about the importance of high-resolution documentation and digital mediation as a tool for conservation and creation of objects of art and of history.

Check Be3D website here

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The Replica 360 Recto/Verso Scanner

The Replica 360 Recto/Verso Scanner is rotary scanning system desgiend by Factum Arte capable of recording 12 A3 sized double-sided images at 400 DPI per minute. The scanner was made to record the Fondazione Giorgio Cini´s photo archive in Venice, which contains roughly 1 million annotated photographs of paintings from the Veneto.

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Woodburytype Prints

The woodburytype process was a photo-mechanical process pioneered at the end of the nineteenth century by Walter. B. Woodbury.
As the first and only photographic printing method that renders an image as continuous tone it is unique in its capability to replicate the subtleties and details of a tonal image. The process involves casting warm gelatine mixed with pigment into a relief mould. Under the pressure of the press the excess gelatine is displaced, and once set, the gelatine is peeled off the mould revealing the image. Depth and tone correspond absolutely: the deeper the section of the relief, the deeper the gelatine and the darker the resultant tone.

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The Veronica Chorographic Scanner

The Veronica Chorographic Scanner (referred to as the Veronica) is a bespoke 3D scanner designed by Manuel Franquelo Jr. and built in Factum Arte to record faces and objects within a 50 x 50 x 50 cm range. The Veronica is specifically designed to capture the fine surface detail of the human face.

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Fulgurite experments

Dwight Perry is currently experimenting with two microwave oven transformers wired in parallel to produce fulgurites from a tank of sand. The aim is to produce simple forms in vitrified sand capable of becoming moulds for casting salt.

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Experiment with salt

Casting salt and the application of salt as a building material is an area of research that is of growing importance for a variety of applications.The Video shows the experiment with a block of cast salt that has been submerged in warm water for 30 hours.

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