Hundreds of Classical Sculptures from the Uffizi Gallery Now Digitized & Put Online: Explore a Collection of 3D Interactive Scans

As the mighty House of Medici amassed works of art between the 15th and 18th cen­turies, could its mem­bers have imag­ined that we would still be enjoy­ing their col­lec­tion in the 21st? Per­haps they did, giv­en the ten­den­cy — some­times fatal — of busi­ness and polit­i­cal dynas­ties to imag­ine them­selves as eter­nal. But the Medicis could scarce­ly have imag­ined how peo­ple all around the world have just gained access to the sculp­ture they col­lect­ed, now dis­played at Flo­rence’s Uffizi Gallery and else­where, through the Uffizi Dig­i­ti­za­tion Project.

A col­lab­o­ra­tion between Indi­ana Uni­ver­si­ty’s Vir­tu­al World Her­itage Lab­o­ra­to­ry, the Politec­ni­co di Milano, and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Flo­rence, the five-year project, which began in 2016, has as its goal the com­plete dig­i­ti­za­tion of Greek and Roman sculp­ture in the Uffizi Gallery, Pit­ti Palace, and Boboli Gar­dens. Though not yet fin­ished, it has already man­aged to dig­i­tize more works of clas­si­cal sculp­ture than any oth­er effort by a sin­gle muse­um, and at its site you can take a look at every com­plete piece and frag­ment already dig­i­tized — and not just a look, as you’d get while pass­ing by on a walk through a muse­um, but a clos­er and more detailed look than you may ever have thought pos­si­ble.

“The gen­uine­ly easy-to-nav­i­gate web­site proves more inter­ac­tive than many com­put­er­ized muse­um archives,” writes Hyper­al­ler­gic’s Jas­mine Weber. “Users are giv­en the oppor­tu­ni­ty to trav­el inside tombs and inside every nook of the fig­ures’ con­struc­tion. The inter­face allows users to trav­el around and with­in the sculp­tures, get­ting clos­er than vis­i­tors often can in the muse­um space itself thanks to three-dimen­sion­al ren­der­ing from every imag­in­able angle.” The col­lec­tion, notes the Uffizzi Dig­i­ti­za­tion Pro­jec­t’s about page, con­tains “works of excep­tion­al inter­est to stu­dents of Greek and Roman art, notably the Medici Venus, the Medici Faun, the Nio­bids, and the Ari­adne.”

The Uffizi Dig­i­ti­za­tion Project has so far made more than 300 works avail­able to view as 3D mod­els, and you can find them by either search­ing the col­lec­tion or scrolling down to browse by cat­e­go­ry, a list that includes every­thing from altars and busts to stat­uettes and vas­es. And though no more tech­no­log­i­cal­ly impres­sive col­lec­tion of vir­tu­al clas­si­cal sculp­ture may exist on the inter­net, after expe­ri­enc­ing it you might nev­er­the­less feel the need to see these pieces in an envi­ron­ment oth­er than the black dig­i­tal void. If so, have a look at the vir­tu­al tour of the Uffizi Gallery we fea­tured ear­li­er this year here on Open Cul­ture. But be pre­pared: from there you may want to book a tick­et to Flo­rence and see the sculp­ture col­lect­ed by the House of Medici in the very city where it rose to such vast eco­nom­ic and cul­tur­al pow­er.

via Hyper­al­ler­gic

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Take a Vir­tu­al Tour of The Uffizi Gallery in Flo­rence, the World-Famous Col­lec­tion of Renais­sance Art

3D Scans of 7,500 Famous Sculp­tures, Stat­ues & Art­works: Down­load & 3D Print Rodin’s Thinker, Michelangelo’s David & More

How Ancient Greek Stat­ues Real­ly Looked: Research Reveals their Bold, Bright Col­ors and Pat­terns

Artists Put Online 3D, High Res­o­lu­tion Scans of 3,000-Year-Old Nefer­ti­ti Bust (and Con­tro­ver­sy Ensues)

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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