"Supreme western works of art, like Oedipus Rex and Hamlet, preserve their indeterminacy through all interpretation. They are morally ungraspable. Even the Venus de Milo gained everything by losing her arms." -- Camille Paglia, Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson
In the 19th century, important works of sculptural art were reproduced in plaster. Artisans carefully made molds of the ancient originals, and high-quality reproductions were then cast in plaster to be bought, sold, and traded by museums, universities, art schools, and private collectors everywhere. Plaster casts of the 2nd century BCE Venus de Milo were very popular, and would have been found in cast collections all over the world.
But the plaster cast tradition faded in the early 1900s. Cast collections were broken up, sold off piece by piece, and in some cases actually physically destroyed. Today there are only a few sizeable collections of plaster casts left in existence.
The Skulpturhalle Basel museum in Switzerland maintains one of the world's few surviving large collections of plaster casts. They have a very high quality cast of Venus de Milo, which was commissioned by the University of Basel and carefully cast by the Louvre's own atelier in 1850.
In September 2013, with the museum's permission and the financial support of Autodesk's Reality Capture division, I spent a week working in the Skulpturhalle, taking 3D surveys of my choice of casts. I took hundreds of carefully staged photos of Venus and used Autodesk's ReCap Photo photogrammetry software to process them into this high-quality 3D model.
This model of Venus de Milo is a modern artifact and direct descendent of the plaster cast tradition, which is poised for a 3D captured, 3D printed, digital renaissance. I hope you enjoy direct access to its ancient, enigmatic, and graceful contours, which descend to us through an unbroken chain from antiquity -- from the Greek island of Milos 2,100 years ago, to the Louvre, to the Skulpturhalle, through my camera lens, to you.
You can read more about my project, "Through A Scanner, Skulpturhalle," at http://ThroughAScanner.com. I will be publishing more results, including Winged Victory of Samothrace and the Medusa Rondanini, among others, and offering them here soon.
-- Cosmo Wenman
Please see the rest of my store for Venus de Milo in different sizes, and in a variety of materials.
Let me know if you would like to order this model in a custom size, configuration, or material. I can cast it in bronze or stainless steel in any size.
If you have other sculptures you'd like me to 3D capture and make available, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org