Sculptures & Complex Objects


The interdisciplinary project ‘Luini in nuova luce’ involvies the VENERANDA BIBLIOTECA and PINACOTECA AMBROSIANA, the FONDAZIONE TRIVULZIO, POLITECNICO DI MILANO, and other scientific researcher and universities. It consists in running some scientific analyses on a selection of paintings by Bernardino Luini, to deepening the knowledge on them and developing an integrated activity of valorization.


– Developing and experimenting (on a consistent sample of Ambrosiana’s works of art) a methodology of investigation and documentation that can support both the judgment of authenticity and historical-critical reading, and the definition of the conservation status, to allow enhancement respecting the needs of the protection

– Identifying  the components and the organizational and technological requirements of a preventive and programmed conservation system. It must be strongly correlated with all routine management procedures  of the works and the museum spaces; including security measures, as well as the most directly related functions of public use and enhancement projects of all kinds.

3DSG Specific activities

We conducted the 3D high resolution photogrammetric survey of the works and the data processing for creating a georeferenced database of scientific information acquired during the project.



ORGANIGRAMMA – Organization chart

Ideatore e promotore del progetto: Mons. Franco Buzzi Prefetto Ambrosiana
Supervisore:  Mons. Alberto Rocca, Direttore Pinacoteca Ambrosiana
Coordinatore progetto:  Dott.ssa Valeria Villa
Supporto al coordinamento complessivo del progetto: Pietro Petraroia


Giulio Bora (con assistenza Dott.ssa Spadaccini), Marino Viganò (con la collaborazione di Laura Aldovini), Edoardo Villata, Valeria Villa


Marco Martini – MILANO BICOCCA;  Lucia Toniolo – POLIMI – Milano; con la partecipazione R. Fontana CNR-INO FIRENZE
Enti e ricercatori coinvolti: Anna Galli, Dott. Austin Nevin – CNR IFN Milano; Letizia Bonizzoni – Università degli Studi di Milano; Gianluca Poldi – Università Bergamo; Gianluca Valentini – Politecnico Milano; Cristiana Achille, Francesco Fassi – Politecnico Milano; Guendalina Damone – Factum art


The main aim of the photogrammetric survey of the painting “Crocefissione” by Vincenzo Foppa was to read the thickness of the brushes and the surface’s irregularities (Milano, Studio Ferriani). 

The use of the three-dimensional model combined with different analyses (IR, UV, …) is helpful for interpreting the painting and choosing the restoration and conservation activities. The recognition of the material layers through the three-dimensional model and the specific physical analyses supports the decisions that the restorer must take to intervene in the painting. Furthermore, the cross-examination of the 3D-analysis model is useful to confirm or not the hypotheses about the history of the interventions that the artwork has already suffered over time.  

The images describe the direct comparison between ‘real painting, three-dimensional model and physical analyses’. The dark spots visible on IR analysis correspond to thickness on the painting and are well recognizable on the 3D model: it confirms the presence of residues of original color (Milano, Studio Ferriani). 


The Smart Culture Project was financed by Regione Lombardia, within the framework of the FESR-POR Competitività 2007-13.

The case studied was the Pietà Rondanini statue by Michelangelo, surveyed to obtain a 1:1 model to insert in a ad hoc system created for the visualization of its geometrical, diagnostica and monitoring data. Thanks to the collaboration between the ABC, CMIC and FIS department of Politecnico di Milano, it was possible to carry forward a study focused on the procedures for the registration, alignment and integration  of several data, surveyed with different methodologies and instruments. The visualization, consultation and storaging need brought to the realization of a system that support Cultural Heritage real-based model, easy to use and adaptable to specific needs of time and different operators.

The built ad hoc system for the Pietà Rondanini described here is an extension of BIM3DSG system, realized to support the restoration and conservation activities of Milan’s Cathedral. The via web consultation (, is now open only with login and password, consultable and integrable now and in future to the scientific community. The visualisazion is possible only through a common web browser that does not require the installation of any specific software. IT is possible to upload and visualize the models questioning them to know the information, the historical notes, the images, the specific information about the intervents, follow the evolution of the activities in progress on the object. The “paradata” section contains the information about the survey operations (instrumental features and acquisition parameters): the “metadata” section contains the geometrical and general data of the statue. The analysis (multispectral imaging, microscopy, raman) can be visualized on the 3D models with a hot spot system which, when selected, remind to images, graphics, tabels, and textual informations.


Since 2009 the Main Spire of Milan Cathedral has been the subject of an extraordinary conservation work that has affected the whole structure from the top part of Tiburio to the Madonnina’s statue.

This statue is nearly 5 meters and occupies the end of the cusp of the Main Spire and it is constantly monitored by the staff of the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo.

In December 2012, the statue, in the occasion of maintenance activities in progress, was also the subject of a complete restoration: inspected, consolidated and regilded. This was an opportunity to make the metric survey that has allowed us to know, for the first time, its three-dimensional shape. A complex photogrammetric survey was created: this task has made the survey of the Madonnina, already outstanding for the importance of the object in question, a considerable scientific challenge. The survey was particularly challenging for several reasons, but -at the end- it was possible to create a 3D digital real based model. This model is a digital metric and measurable representation of the statue that describes the position, shape and color.

Comments are closed.