Facsimiles for 'Human Brains: It Begins with an Idea'

Fondazione Prada
Ca’ Corner della Regina, Venice
23 April - 27 November, 2022

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Exhibition view of “Human Brains: It Begins with an Idea” - Fondazione Prada, Venice 23 April – 27 November 2022 | Photo: Marco Cappelletti, Courtesy: Fondazione Prada

Exhibition view of “Human Brains: It Begins with an Idea” - Fondazione Prada, Venice 23 April – 27 November 2022 | Photo: Marco Cappelletti, Courtesy: Fondazione Prada

Facsimiles have the power of expanding the boundaries of exhibition display when the originals can't travel, in addition to providing new ways to study, disseminate and display cultural heritage. For the exhibition 'Human Brains: It Begins with an Idea', organised by Fondazione Prada, Factum Arte and Factum Foundation worked on two facsimiles of anatomy-themed paintings:

  • Rembrandt, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Deijman, 1656, Amsterdam Museum 
  • Hieronymous Bosch, The Extraction of the Stone of Madness, 1501 - 1505, Museo del Prado 

'Human Brains: It Begins with an Idea' brings together documents, drawings, paintings, prints and books challenged by the words of fiction writers and a collection of interviews with neuroscientists, psychologists, neurolinguists and philosophers from all over the world.

A team from Factum Foundation recorded both paintings using the Lucida 3D Scanner and composite photography inside the two museums, ensuring that the surface and colour of the facsimiles would be accurate. 

After printing the surface in 3D using elevated printing technology, the textured surface of each painting was moulded using liquid silicone and cast in a specially prepared acrylic gesso mix. These thin, flexible 'skins', which are fixed to a canvas or a backing panel in a process that is similar to re-lining a painting, form the base surface of a facsimile. The colour of each painting was printed on the surface separately in perfect registration, using Factum's custom flatbed inkjet printer. Multiple layers of over-printing ensure that the tone and hue of each colour are exact.

The Lucida 3D Scanner recording the surface of The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Deijman at the Amsterdam Museum © Factum Foundation

Detail of the Lucida 3D Scanner recording the surface of The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Deijman at the Amsterdam Museum © Factum Foundation

The Lucida 3D Scanner recording the surface of the The Extraction of the Stone of Madness at the Museo del Prado © Factum Foundation

Teresa Casado and Adam Lowe checking the 3D surface before moulding © Oak Taylor-Smith for Factum Foundation

Registering the colour onto the 3D surface using an acetate sheet © Oak Taylor-Smith for Factum Foundation

Test print of The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Deijman © Oak Taylor-Smith for Factum Foundation

Detail of Rembrandt's signature © Oak Taylor-Smith for Factum Foundation

Colour tests for The Extraction of the Stone of Madness © Oak Taylor-Smith for Factum Foundation

Facsimile of Hieronymous Bosch' The Extraction of the Stone of Madness © Factum Foundation

Facsimile of Hieronymous Bosch' The Extraction of the Stone of Madness © Factum Foundation

Facsimile of Hieronymous Bosch' The Extraction of the Stone of Madness © Factum Foundation

Facsimile of Rembrandt's The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Deijman © Oak Taylor-Smith for Factum Foundation

Facsimile of Rembrandt's The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Deijman © Oak Taylor-Smith for Factum Foundation

Facsimile of Rembrandt's The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Deijman © Oak Taylor-Smith for Factum Foundation

Facsimile of Rembrandt's The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Deijman © Oak Taylor-Smith for Factum Foundation


 

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