National Gallery of Art – CASVA -Washington D.C.
Project Coordination: Professor L. Pericolo – University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
Architecture – Works of Art – Cultural Heritage
Jan. – May 2013
Case Study: photographs of paintings, frescoes, architectures and details from different locations in Rome.
I was assigned an extensive project consisting in taking 22 photographs of architectures, paintings and frescoes from different locations in Rome. It was the first experience with the client – The National Gallery of Art – Center for Advanced Study in Visual Art – Washington D.C. Given the prominence and demanding nature of the assignment, one of the primary goal was not to deceive client’s expectations and hopefully to outmatch them.
After the first discussions and brainstorming, the deadline was fixed in 4 months.
A good part of the work consisted in preliminary planning: retrieving dozens of contacts, obtaining authorizations from competent authorities, dealing with bureaucracy and outsmarting it, whenever possible. A map was set-up and its database shared with the client in order to track real time progress and geolocate all data.
Precise information on some of the works of art was not available and an investigative work was necessary to locate them and to reach their holders. Some other works were not accessible for safety reasons or for restoration work. Eventually access to all the required locations has been granted.
The shootings of paintings and frescoes have been completed in order to maximize details, resolution and faithful color rendition. To get the expected results, the gear used and provisional harnesses reached a consistent weight and footprint, which imposed further planning to commute across the narrow and traffic interdicted streets of the Roman historical center. Size of some tall paintings and the high position of the same, posed further challenge to the operations.
The professionalism and courtesy of the coordination team has been outstanding. The overall experience helped me to refine my approach to art. Capturing every detail of a work of art allows to slowly get an intimate relation with it and discover unexpected findings.
The photographs have been used for archiving purposes and were published in Cropper and Pericolo 2013 – critical edition of Cesare Malvasia’s Felsina Pittrice, Lives of Bolognese painters, volume thirteen, Lives of Domenichino and Francesco Gessi, London, Harvey Miller Publisher
All photos and text: Riccardo Budini / Looma
Samples of High Resolution Photographs