Conservação de uma escultura de São Francisco de Assis e estudo da imagem através de reconstrução 3D

  • Cláudia Sofia Camacho Sousa (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The internship focused on the study, conservation and restoration treatment of a polychrome wooden sculpture of São Francisco de Assis, attributed to the 17th century and belonging to the venerable third order of São Francisco, from Guimarães. The intervention took place in the workshops of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa- School of Arts. The sculpture of São Francisco de Assis has the following dimensions: 155 cm height, 3 cm wide and 31 cm deep. The wood used in the production of this sculpture was chestnut wood. Still about the production we know that the work is composed of a single block of wood , hollowed out at the back, with gouges and adze, although the third lower part of the cord and the fingers were made separately. The arms are also part of the same block, although distorted, they have the same veins as the wood of the main block. The arms were thinned so that an irreversible deformation occurred, thus the figure lost volumetry and anatomical accuracy. The main problems of the sculpture were, the distortion of the anatomy of the arms, the anatomical thinnings, the lack of a finger and the serious detachment that occurred un the polychromy, especially in the carnations. The recovery of the legibility of the figure was one of the main focuses in this treatment. According to the stratigraphic cuts, we observed that the work underwent several repaints and determined that there were at least three restoration campaigns. The habit underwent a complete alteration, presenting a gray layer that was applied later to the original layer and it was determined that as the gold leaf was on top of this gray layer, this was also a later procedure than the original. A historical and iconographic survey of the work was carried out, as well as an analytical study and subsequent conservation and restoration intervention. Studies were carried out that allowed the understanding of the materials, and the following examinations were carried out: general and detail photographic records with a Canon EOS750D camera, observation and photographic record of stratigraphic sections through optical and digital microscopes. The cultural asset was intervened taking into account the physical stabilization and a new assembly of the arms with chestnut wood and the return of the reading of both the carnations and the habit. For the volumetric reconstruction of the missing finger, we use 3D technology. The program used to scan and model the finger and thumbnail of the complete figure before the procedure was the Polycam-LiDAR application for the iphone 12. The thumbnail is intended to be a means of visual and tactile communication for blind and visually impaired visitors and other disabilities so that they can experience the exhibition in a new way, interacting the piece in a more intimate way. Prints were performed with a polylactic acid polymer derived from renewable sources such as corn starch, on an ultimaker 2+ printer.
Date of Award25 Jan 2023
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorMaria Aguiar (Supervisor) & Nuno Camarneiro (Co-Supervisor)


  • São Francisco de Assis
  • Sculpture
  • Recovery of legibility
  • Conservation and restoration
  • Volumetric reconstruction
  • 3D reconstruction


  • Mestrado em Conservação e Restauro de Bens Culturais

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