The advances in digital technology, have multiplied the possibilities in documentation tasks, restoration and conservation of cultural heritage. The virtual representation, three-dimensional and photographic has become a standard tool for the study, preservation and dissemination of artistic objects.

This progress also affects the art reproductions works, in the way we understand a copy, as well in the technical possibilities the reproductions can be performed. Reproductions have had, and have, an important role in the dissemination and enjoyment of the artistic experience. From the engraving, which allowed a greater number of people viewing the work, to the current need to preserve certain monuments that are in serious danger of degradation and loss, limiting the number of visitors, and giving the opportunity, as an alternative, to contemplate a loyal copy of the original.

The technology has replaced the manual work for another purpose. Photography has been a paradigm of objectivity in representing reality. The volumes were copied by molds. Today this work has been replaced by volume logging tools that do not require contact with the workpiece and modeling machines or machining.

Despite the enormous progress still existed a limitation: when the volume or texture, absolutely objective in terms of form had some polychrome housed. The polychrome was applied manually and inevitably introducing inaccuracies that distorts the copy.


Playing artworks.

After years of research, in collaboration with the National Research Council (CSIC), the Materials Engineering Group (GEMAT), Chemical Institute of Sarria (IQS), the support of the Center for the Development of Industrial Technology (CTDI) , the result is an innovative technologically material, unique in the world and patented in thirteen countries, which expands the possibilities of the use of the photographic image into the world of art, and responds to the need of the  the introduction of the reproductions of the art works, whatever the nature, the objective testimony of its photographic images.

PAPELGEL® is a laminar copolymer material, printable and harmless. That looks very similar to conventional photo-quality papers, to transfer high-quality photographic images to objects with volume, regardless of size, shape or texture.


The reproduction process for artworks is basically Papelgel printed in photographic scale reconstructions, adapted to the surfaces and volumes that have the nature and peculiarities of the original work. In the system, the material acquires elastic properties, allowing the adaptation to any type of surface regardless of the shape or texture.
After a detailed study of the work, defined the process to follow, which basically consists in two tasks: the creation of the solid model of the surface and the application of the image.

Surface reproduction.

Data collection (no contact) with the object’s surface.

There are various systems that effectively solve the problems involved in a object replication. But for the reproduction of an artwork, and for obvious reasons of conservation and security, making all information has to be achieved without contact.
There are a wide range of technical solutions, but the scanner is the one which provides levels of accuracy and security to tackle a job like this. Each has the properties and characteristics of the work which can determine an choice or another.


Laser scanner examples.

Julio Luzán PCI scanning
inside the Pedret absidiola


Example of white light scanner.

Nub 3d scanning
Altarpice of Guimerà

Solid model from the object’s volume.

The information obtained in this way allows, after the choice of the appropriate equipment, obtaining a solid surface to correspond to the object. On this technic there are several alternatives:



CNC Machining (CNC).
Guimerà altarpice


The milling system by machining or numerical control (CNC) is based on the automation and control of the movements of a tool (milling) related to the coordinate axes machine. A software executed by a computer, guide the machine movements required by the abraded material. This system removes the excess material from a block to get the shape or surface of the required piece.



Christ of Organya´s Cross


Unlike the machining, stereolithography is a process of addition. A computer program translates a design model or volume and organizes information in layers. This information drawn of each layer, is projected by an ultraviolet laser beam on the surface made on photopolymer resin (hardened by light). The object is immersed in tub once cured (hardened) each section until the entire volume.


Photography and color management.

The Hewlett-Packard has developed a tool created specifically to control and adjust the digital color on artworks reproduction, The Artist program.
The integration of system components, such as cameras, lighting and printers, reduces the time necessary to produce high quality precision work. No need to regulate illuminate artwork or color correction, the software automatically solves such problems during processing.
The Artist system eliminates the labor and uncertainty of manual color corrections. The software performs an automatic white balance, corrects the illumination uniformity, makes chromatic corrections and generates a TIFF file with an embedded ICC profile that is specific to that particular artwork.


Image apply with PAPELGEL.

-A flexible sheet that is printed with pigmented inks for high durability and photo quality. The color spectrum inks offer (a mixture of up to 12 colors) reaches 95% of the RGB color model.


-Has an elastic phase, which allows adapting the image to any surface. Moreover, adjustments and dimensional corrections avoid the creeping or any other possible error accumulation.

-It’s transparent so the control, adjust and the working track is complete.

-The adhesive can be selected depending on the features and nature of supporting material.

-Adhesive and ink are the only components that remain after removing the Papelgel film.

Altarpice and carvings. Golden, stew and dotted in paintings.

To beautify and ennoble from the religious inspiration motives of many artworks, some elements such as artistic funds, nimbus, jewelry, clothes and others were covered with gold leafs.
On some of the meticulous golden work areas, a colour is applied (temple) recreating landscapes and scenes. In some areas the gold is observed through veils of color, in others, the paint was removed with punches to show gold applied at the bottom (technical stew).

Papelgel is a versatile material that can apply metallic paint at the bottom of the images. This way the golden funds are fully integrated into the paint. The color, where gold glazes breathe, areas where the preparation bowl appears, etc, have a harmonious and convincing aspect.

See the altarpice from the Horcajo de la Sierra.




ARSUS PAPER SL - Nou de Sant Francesc 17, Bajos 3a 08002 Barcelona - Tel. 93 317 59 83