20150104 Getty Caligula by Cosmo Wenman 2

“Although he is now a god, he is still the same lovable young man we’ve always known. I can attest to that. And to enable his relationships with all of us to continue exactly as they were, he has decided, for convenience, to retain his mortal form. Oh and by the way his sister Drusilla’s become a godess. Any questions?” —Macro, in the BBC’s I, Claudius

This is my 3D capture of the Getty’s head of Caligula, which I photographed in November 2012 at the Getty Villa.

For my own Caligula copy, I modified the original by digitally cutting out its eyes, designing a fractured, ragged edge around its neck and hollowing the whole thing out. I printed a life-size copy in PLA, and used it as a pattern for lost-PLA bronze casting–burning the PLA directly instead of wax. This was my first large-scale experiment with lost-PLA casting, and it turned out very, very well.

I patinated the result to make it look like a long-lost artifact.

Speaking of ancient history, I photographed this piece for 3D over two years ago. It’s getting increasingly frustrating to keep publishing museums’ pieces before they do, even at the slow pace I’m working. Am I really going to publish a decent-quality 3D model of the Getty Kouros or the Getty Bronze before the Getty itself does?

If you know someone-who-knows-someone at the Getty who can encourage them to start making some noise in this field… It would be great to see the Getty take the lead from the Smithsonian.

Click here to download the 3D-printable files: