Frescoes of Dionysius are being digitized in 3D

Frescoes of Dionysius are being digitized in 3D

The frescoes of the stone Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin—the main church of the former Ferapontov monastery in the Kirillov region—will be copied digitally using the latest technology, according to the report of REGNUM’s correspondent.

The replication of the frescoes in a digital format will be carried out by Factum Arte, which specializes in high-resolution digital capture, in cooperation with the PERI Foundation.  The Factum Arte art organization has already employed 3D scanning techniques for the reproduction of masterpieces of the world’s art with global historical value.  One example was the 3D copy they made of the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamen in Egypt.  Next in line are the frescoes created by the famous artist Dionysius and his sons in Vologda oblast.

‘The museum preserves the complete ensemble created by Dionysius, 300 frescoes in all, thanks to the incredible diligence of the museum staff.  In fact, these frescoes have come down to us because the monastery was closed in the 18th century for lack of funds, and the old frescoes had not been painted over with new ones more in keeping with the style of later eras.  That is our great good fortune.  Now we and our partners in this programme—the Factum Arte specialists in high-resolution digital copying—have come back from the museum and are preparing for an expedition.  The job is quite large—600 square metres of frescoes.  We want to engage talented photographers from Vologda, Belozersk, Kirillov and its vicinity in this important work,’ Polina Filippova, a specialist from the PERI Foundation, told REGNUM.

These famous frescoes were created in 1502 by the Moscow artist Dionsysius and have been preserved to this day without any repainting.  After the German forces during World War II destroyed the renowned churches from the 12th to 15th centuries in Novgorod, the images of Dionsysius remained as one of just a few fresco ensembles of Old Russia.  Among early Russian historic artefacts these frescoes are set apart by their preservation completely intact and without any repainting of the original work.  Scientific study has revealed that the murals in the Nativity Cathedral are on a stable base coat and are notable for the fine condition of the paint layers.

The frescoes of the cathedral dome represent Christ Pantocrator with the archangels and sacred ancestors below him; under the arches are scenes of the evangelists; on the west wall, the Day of Judgment; on the pillars, soldier martyrs; and in the altar apse are depicted John the Baptist, the Holy Virgin and Child, Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, and themes related to them.