Bringing Lost Art Back From the Grave via 3D Printing – Sculptor is Recreating Michelangelo’s “Battle of Cascina”

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michelangelo-5Back in the 15th and 16th centuries lived an Italian artist named Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, who we all refer to as just Michelangelo. It’s not too often that someone achieves so much fame that a simple mention of his first name is all that is needed in identifying him. He was famous for many notable works, including the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, “David,” “Pietà,” and “The Last Judgment.” One piece of art that Michelangelo is quite famous for creating was his painting called “Battle of Cascina.”

Unfortunately, the painting — which depicts a notable battle that took place in 1364 between troops from Pisa and Florence, Italy — no longer is in existence. Michelangelo never completely finished the original painting, but did create a complete cartoon of the composition. That cartoon, however, also no longer survives, as it was destroyed by a man named Bartolommeo Bandinelli because of his resentment toward Michelangelo for the painting’s fame. Today there are some of the original preparatory drawings still surviving, as well as copies of the cartoon, done by other less notable artists.

3D Printable file for Warrior #02

3D Printable file for Warrior #02

Now, one artist/3D sculptor, who goes by the name Mushogenshin, is transposing Michelangelo’s “Battle of Cascina” into individual digital sculptures which he has already begun 3D printing.

“I have been working on my sculpture project on (a) three-dimesional transposal of Michelangelo’s Battle of Cascina,” Mushogenshin tells 3DPrint.com. “I started preparing for the project, on and off, since May 2014 by shooting photo reference for anatomical details, employing a big turntable I built in April 2013. In mid-July 2014 I quit one of my day jobs so that I could dive into sculpting the figures. I then launched a humble Kickstarter campaign for my project, but unfortunately it didn’t meet its goal. However, I was not discouraged, but instead still kept posting updates on my progress.”

As you can see in the video below, he uses the specially developed turntable along with individuals who pose for him, to create high quality 3D data needed for the development of these 3D printable models.

Over the past couple months, Mushogenshin has had to take a bit of a hiatus to focus on more important things like school, but he plans on returning to the project during his winter break, as well as next summer. He still needs to finish working on 14 remaining figures, and he plans on doing so as soon as he can.

3D Printed version of Warrior #01 from Shapeways

3D Printed version of Warrior #01 from Shapeways

In the mean time,  he has already 3D printed Warrior #01 using Shapeways 3D printing services, and just a few days ago he ordered a print of Warrior #02. Both designs are also available to download and 3D print for free at home via Thingiverse. Mushogenshin says that he decided to release his WIP models for 3D printing on Thingiverse under “Attribution – Non-Commercial – No Derivatives license” since he had assumed that the project would take a long time to finish, and require a lot of determination. He hopes that the reception from the internet community might help him keep his focus and finish the project sooner.

There is still a lot of work to do on this project, and plenty more 3D printed figurines that will need to be ordered from Shapeways (14 more in all), but he is determined to complete it, and if he does so, it will be quite the feat. He plans on releasing each one of his new warriors as soon as he finishes them.

“Warrior #03 is a big challenge for me due to availability of sketches by Michelangelo himself, which potentially poses direct comparisons from viewers,” Mushogenshin tells us.

3D printed version of Warrior #01 from Shapeways

3D printed version of Warrior #01 from Shapeways

Mushogenshin says that he owes a lot of his work to a man named Scott Eaton, and his teachings of human anatomy. “He has been a great source of inspiration for me,” explained Mushogenshin. “I think knowledge gained from architecture school and an AnimationMentor course also contributes, while designing and posing, respectively.”

What do you think of this incredible 3D modeling and 3D printing project that Mushogenshin has undertaken? Discuss in the 3D Printing Michelangelo’s “Battle of Cascina” forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the unboxing video of Warrior #01 below.

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