16 May 2024

Enjoy every detail of Luca Signorelli’s Deposition of Christ in the town of Umbertide

Ultra-high definition digitisation of a masterpiece that resides in a small town in the upper Tiber Valley

Backstage Haltadefinizione Umbertide

There are many small towns in Italy that have a rich but unknown artistic heritage. With ultra-high definition digitisation and the latest technology in virtual and extended reality, many great works are more accessible than ever to people all across the country. 

Haltadefinizione is committed to digitising works of art in Italy that are found far from the most popular tourist itineraries. One example is their recently completed ultra-high definition digitisation of The Deposition from the Cross by Luca Signorelli, in the Museum of Santa Croce (Holy Cross) in the town of Umbertide, in the province of Perugia.

 Backstage Haltadefinizione Umbertide 1Backstage at the ultra-high definition photography session

The work consists of a central altarpiece depicting the Deposition and a predella divided into three compartments, which depict scenes from the Legend of the True Cross, by Iacopo da Varagine.  

Luca Signorelli painted the Deposition from the Cross in 1516. It was commissioned by the Confraternity of Santa Croce for their church in Umbertide. Since the late fifteenth century, Signorelli was active in the towns of the upper Tiber Valley. This area, between Umbria and Tuscany, was a crossroads for many painters in this period, including the young Raphael. 

Gigapixel digitisation at the Museum of Santa Croce in Umbertide

Considered to be Signorelli’s last masterpiece, the painting resides in the church-museum of Santa Croce, which is currently closed for extensive seismic retrofitting. This is why the City government of Umbertide has decided to make the work more accessibile, with an ultra-high definition Gigapixel digitisation. This will allow admirers and the faithful to enjoy viewing the work down to its tiniest brushstrokes.

The Deposition is one of a few of Signorelli’s works that is still in the original location where it was conceived. The scene is crowded with solidly drawn figures wearing many different colors of clothing.

Dettaglio di Cristo dalla Deposizione di Umbertide di Signorelli
Christ’s body being brought down from the Cross

The digital image lets us get closer than ever to the painting’s surface so we can see more if its little details than ever before.

For example, with the ultra-high definition image, we can see the tiny tears running down the cheeks of the characters at the foot of the Cross, and even the drops of blood that Magdalene tries to collect from Christ’s feet. In the predella we can also see all of the detailed miniature work of Constantine’s camp, facing the same Tiber river that runs through Rome and also, far upstream, through the small town of Umbertide. 

Dettaglio delle lacrime dalla Deposizione di Umbertide di SignorelliThe tears that flow down the face of Saint John the Evangelist at the foot of the Cross 

Ultra-high definition digitisation projects of this type are an example of Haltadefinizione’s commitment to raising the cultural profile of smaller localities, where there are extraordinary works of art that the general public hardly knows about.

Now you can explore the entire work in all its detail, in the Haltadefinizione Image Bank, by clicking this link.

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