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A substantial art project

09/13/2017

The renowned "Belvedere Torso" has regained its missing limbs, thanks to Tebis. Together with artist Simona Andrioletti, Tebis generated the necessary data and coordinated manufacturing of these crucial parts.

It is considered one of the most renowned statues of antiquity: the Belvedere Torso. The remains of a Greek marble statue with a heavily muscled upper body and torso, 1.59 meters in height and weighing in at 2.2 tons, is on display in the Vatican Museums in Rome. However, the head, arms and lower legs are gone. According to legend, the artist Michelangelo was under contract with the church to supplement the missing parts – a standard practice at the time. He refused, stating that the torso was too perfect to have anything added to it. The sculpture, dating roughly from the first century B.C.E., continued to fascinate both scientists and renowned artists, including Rubens and Rodin. However, its identity and the complete pose have remained a puzzle to this day.

Recently, Italian artist Simona Andrioletti turned her attention to this mystery, considering what position the missing limbs might have had. "I didn't intend to complete the original," she says. "I wanted to add a few fragments to the right arm and the left leg, so as to create an image of the complete torso in the viewer’s mind." In the implementation of this "Belvedere" art project, Tebis provided crucial support in three areas: scanning the limbs, processing the data and coordinating the manufacturing. The exhibits were produced from plastic PLA (polylactide) by means of 3D printing, in cooperation with Tebis partner MCAE Systems.

Exact data preparation for perfect anatomy

German junior-world-champion bodybuilder Antonio Melieni served as the model for the limbs and had his body scanned at Tebis. The challenge for the experts at Tebis was to capture the surfaces with the scanner as precisely as possible, in order to accurately model the anatomy. Subsequent data preparation of the fine meshes for 3D printing was also performed at Tebis, over the course of one day. Among other tasks, the limbs had to be scaled by a ratio of 1:1.3, in order to adjust Melieni's proportions to those of the torso. "I'm very grateful for the help from Tebis. I wouldn't have been able to complete a project like this on my own," the artist said.

"Belvedere" was previously displayed at the annual exhibition of the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany. It is also planned to be exhibited in Milan, Italy in the near future.


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