The Portrait of a child with drawing by Giovan Francesco Caroto is known as a unique work in the history of painting. The artist came from Verona, was a student of Andrea Mantegna and was active in Milan at the time of Leonardo. This work is one of the most famous works in the collection held in the Museum of Castelvecchio.
The original painting is currently on loan to the Academy of France in Rome at the Villa Medici, for the exposition, “Gribouillage / Scarabocchio, from Leonardo da Vinci to Cy Twombly.” In the meantime, a replica of the painting is taking its place in the Gallery of the Museum of Castelvecchio, made possible with ultra-high definition gigapixel + 3D digitization, which is the work of Haltadefinizione and its high-tech partner company Memooria.
In May, the painting will make its return to Verona for the first exhibition dedicated to the artist, “Caroto and the Arts, from Mantegna to Veronese,” from May 13 to October 2, 2022.
The physical replica of a work of art made with a gigapixel + 3D digital image, can take the place of the original work when it is out on loan, allowing the museum to continue to offer its visitors a complete view of the collection.
In cases where the work is fragile, the replica may be sent out instead of the original, in order to preserve the original and not to expose it to stress and risk of moving.
The integration of art and technology is accelerating and becoming more and more important for museums, which can use many new tools for management, promotion and enhanced uses of the cultural heritage.
Specifically, ultra-high definition digitization and 3D mapping of the painting surface allows for complete reproduction of every part of a work’s material substance, whatever that is.
Says Luca Ponzio, founder of Haltadefinizione, “3D digital acquisition makes it possible to reproduce details of a painting’s surface by making a three-dimensional model of it which shows its material makeup with extreme precision. This means that a replica can take the place of an original whenever it is not available.”
Haltadefinizione’s latest digital imaging and printing technologies are also applied to monitoring a work’s conservation status, and the data collected during digital acquisition is used in research, scholarship, management and direct study of the work.
The ultra-high definition image of the Portrait of a child with drawing is now available in the image bank at the Haltadefinizione website. This work, which is surely the artist’s most famous one, joins the already enormous archive of digitized masterpieces at the Haltadefinizione website, where visitors can examine its every detail in ultra-high definition.
Giovan Francesco Caroto
Portrait of a child with drawing, 1515-1520, oil on wood panel, 37 x 29 cm (14.5 x 11.5 inches)
Verona, Museum of Castelvecchio
The odd, unconventional look of this portrait of a laughing youth holding up a drawing, is unique in the history of sixteenth century Italian painting. This work enjoys an international reputation for its modern look and it is much more famous than the man who painted it. It attracts attention from a wide variety of scholars who study its iconography, its philosophical and literary context and even its pedagogic and medical aspects.
The painting shows a boy of about ten to twelve years of age with long red hair, seen from the waist up in a foreshortened view from close range, wearing a green vest over a white shirt, with a dark background. On the lower left side, there is a flap of red cloth, possibly a beret. The boy is captured in the moment as he turns to the viewer to show a drawing that he is holding in his right hand. He seems to be having fun, with his wide eyes, laughing smile and satisfied expression.