Dominique Provost

Preserving Pedro de Mena’s 17th Century Sculptures

with the Multi-Shot


Specialising in art reproduction, Belgian photographer Dominique Provost works with numerous museums, galleries, artists and collectors – both nationally and internationally – to reproduce paintings, sculptures, silverware, jewellery, and other such artefacts. Using the Hasselblad Multi-Shot system, he had the opportunity to photograph Spanish baroque sculptor Pedro de Mena’s collection of six hyper-realistic 17th century sculptures for the Musea Brugge and The National Museum of History and Art of Luxembourg. Needing to produce the most high-resolution images, these photographs will be of monumental importance for art conservation, restoration, digitalization, and if necessary, reproduction of these historical pieces.

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PEDRO DE MENA’S SCULPTURES

Created in the 17th century, Pedro de Mena’s hyper-realistic sculptures possess incredible details – the tears and eyes are made of finely-sculpted glass; exquisite transitioning in different skin tones and wrinkles; exceptional construction of realistic clothing. “To reproduce these details and to capture these lifelike characteristics in the best possible way, high-res images and the best camera are necessary in order to obtain the most perfect tones and to really bring out the used materials and respect the colours of these intensely realistic sculptures. With the H5D-200c MS I was able to obtain an incredible tonality needed for such detailed sculptures. The 4-shot function brings out the most perfect tonal range,” explains Dominique. 

Using the H5D-200c Multi-Shot, these high-quality images were not only used for murals, websites, and other press related activities, but for a digital registry of the pieces, conservation purposes, and as a powerful reference for restoration and reproduction in the future.

Behind the scenes

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CHIAROSCURO LIGHTING

“These types of religious sculptures were used to evoke emotions in the person admiring them. There was a certain mysterious and mystical atmosphere in these poorly lit churches, and to obtain this same dramatic effect and to highlight specific details, I also used Broncolor Picolite lamps to bring back this Caravaggio-like use of chiaroscuro light,” says Dominique.


In my niche of art reproduction, my clients expect the highest quality and the most accurate resemblance to the photographed object. Shooting with the H5D Multi-Shot and the H6D-400c MS is an optimal tool because it guarantees perfect tonality and colour richness that one can only find in 16-bit files. Phocus’ in-program colour profiling allows me to obtain the highest colour accuracy on site.


ABOUT DOMINIQUE PROVOST

Belgian photographer Dominique Provost’s own passion for art goes hand in hand with his professional photographic career specialising in art reproduction. Working alongside museum conservators, curators, gallerists and artists, he is entrusted with capturing some of the most precious art pieces in the world. And throughout his entire career, he’s always trusted Hasselblad to deliver. See more of his work here.

Currently, there is an exposition at the National Museum of History and Art (MNHA) in Luxembourg entitled De Mena, Murillo, Zurbarán - Masters of the Spanish Baroque from 24.01.2020 until 21.11.2020 where Dominique’s images are also printed and displayed alongside the sculptures. Read more here.


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