Guimerà Altarpiece




Gothic Altarpiece from Ramon de Mur.
Guimerà. Lleida.
Original work preserved in the Museu Episcopal de Vic.
Dimensions: 730 x 524 cm.



The parish church of Santa Maria de Guimerà, built in the eleventh century on a big rock in the center of the town, and declared a historic-artistic in 1975, housed one of the master artwork in terms of size from that time, the Altarpiece of Guimerà.

The artwork, preserved since 1891 in the Museu Episcopal de Vic is a temple painting on walnut wood.  Artarpiece of Guimerà is a part of the international Gothic painting style, elegant shapes, color fading golden background and abundant use of colors.

All the necessary managing process for reproduction of the altarpiece, was possible with to the illusion of the association, and especially to the obstinacy of its president, Pascal Proust.

This is the first exact reproduction for this kind of artwork, which takes place in the world. Presented by the Hewlett Packard company, was chosen as the most outstanding project space "print quality", the "25th International Conference on Digital Printing Technologies" 2009, Kentucky (USA), the most important event worldwide in digital printing technologies.

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The Guimerà altarpiece is a majestic work created by an imagination lit, free of conditions in form or style. Unfortunately only retain 23 of the 32 tables that made up the set.

Like other works of similar characteristics made in the past, the altarpiece has a rugged terrain due mainly to the work of decorating the set size, columns, cornices and other reliefs. But also part of its current imprint, pictorial material loss showing bare wood, warping and separation of the tables, the crackle of painting preserved, etc.

Reproducing Guimerà altarpiece required a special intervention and it was necessary the participation from various disciplines and application of resources in the new digital technology that allowed making an exact replica, avoiding as much as possible inaccuracies that manual work would have for sure introduced.

Reproduction fragment. Detail of the surface relief.


3Dimensional scanning.
The volume scanned altarpiece was made by the company NUB3D with his system TripleArt using a unique MML process, called structured white light, to capture the three-dimensionality of objects without physical contact, using external references or the use of mechanical aids. Furthermore, the system fulfills the requirements of the control museum light intensity.

Volume Machining.
The data volume (point cloud) is processed and converted into machine language tool (STL).A three-axis CNC milling machine, made a detailed work (36 hours each table) in MDF (Medium-density fiberboard).
This material has better stability and homogeneity that wood is not attacked by worms.
All elements in the altarpiece, moldings, cracks, loss of the paint layer, etc, were recreated with great accuracy in a solid model similar to that presented the original.

High resolution digital photography.
A detailed photographic reportage was performed for the paintings, as of the most significant elements of the work.
Once mounted the images, were scaled and chromatically corrected. For this and for reference, were painted with watercolor various color patches, which were adjusted compared directly with paint.
The images were printed on Papelgel, pigmented ink HP (indoor lasting over 100 years).

Images transfer.
The images were applied on the tables, adapting to shapes with volume, columns, moldings and other breaks in the relief, texture, crackle the painting, water timber, and so on.
The image transferred to the areas where bare wood is appreciated, have an absolutely convincing appearance.

Papelgel retired.

Gold were applied.

Finally the group was protected with varnish.

Michele preparing the tables for the delivery

Detail of one of the tables

Installing altarpiece at the church of Guimerà

The breeding project Guimerà Altarpiece was presented at the Royal Academy of the Arts of Sant Jordi in Barcelona. Its president, Mr. James Thornton, said in his closing speech that "this innovative project opens the door to the possibility for some artworks, that for safety or preservation, so far had not been set out in its place of origin, now could be admired at the original location. "

Altarpiece of the church of Guimerà delivery moment




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