Our project aims to restitute a typical Venetian Palace of the Italian Renaissance. With the support of Stefania Coccato, art and historical expert from Ca’ Foscari university of Venice, we decided to work on the 3D reconstruction of Niccolò da Carrara’s Palace. As the latter was destroyed, our angle is to model as accurately as possible the essence of typical patrician houses of the period, particularly their interior. The final product should be playful and understandable by the biggest range of people. Its purpose is educational.
The first step of the project consists in gathering as much data as possible. We want to establish a complete inventory of every object of his room, and be able to position each one of them in the right place. When we will have our model in mind, and after making some sketches of the room, we will start to compile our data on SketchUp. In order to make our reproduction interactive, we will use Unity-3D to allow the end-user to move around the room freely. The aim would be to give the opportunity to end users to make a virtual visit of a bedroom in a 14th Century Palace.
In order to collect useful and efficient data, we had to target accurate sources describing the typical elements constituting a « Camera di oro », which is the owner’s bedroom. The 14th century had strong culture discrepancies with nowadays regarding language and writings. As such, our main source is iconographic. Yet, advised by Stefania Coccata, we still found an insightful book to help us with our research. This book, entitled “Interieur Venitiens à la Renaissance” written by Isabella Palumbo Fossati Casa, focuses on the 16th century, so we had to be careful with the information it provides and we had to identify correlations and differences between interiors of both the 14th and the 16th century. The book summarizes accurately the different ways of living of several social classes in Venice at this time. Among them, the popular house, the spices merchant’s house, the licenced professionals’ house, the patrician house and the ecclesiastic house. Niccolo da Carrara’s social status fitted well with the Patrician class. This social class was the noblest one in Venice. Therefore we dug into this book in order to find relevant data.
Moreover, we acquire data with paintings from the Renaissance and an inventory of Niccolo da Carrara’s personal belongings. From an inventory point of view, here is what we found so far, concerning the gold room.
The bed is the most important and the central part of the bedroom. Indeed, “the sleep which redistributed the necessary energy to the worker is also necessary for the noble man who wants to be a careful seller, a valorous military officer or a capable politician”. The bed was usually made of wood, was highly decorated and sculpted to illustrate the owner wealth and taste. Sheet colors were often combinations of yellow and blue or red and green. Moreover, the motives engraved in the bed could represent the families’ flags.
As shelves and cabinets did not exist at that time, each room contained one or several chests next to the bed that had their function. It is believed that the chest is the second most important element of the bedroom, as we know that the inventory of different patrician houses bedrooms contained at least one.
Walls were often garnished with tapestry. Indeed, it was a sign of wealth to have ornaments on the walls in contrast with the poor who could not afford it. This tapestry also was made of combination of colors.
Tables were always mobile, and could serve many functions, like eating table or constellation table. As such, a table was sometimes featured in a bedroom.
Chairs were not very common in bedrooms. Stools were more used. The inventory shows that people frequently sat on large pillows laid directly on the floor.
Finally, bedrooms could also feature other elements, such as libraries or prying altars.
Our final model will contain all these elements, and will also feature objects coming from the inventory of Niccolò da Carrara. Our aim is to create a typical interior of the 14th century using Niccolò da Carrara as hypothetical owner of the house.
Our next steps are to continue gathering data and start modeling the interior with Sketchup. Our target audience will also be a subject of reflexion.
Antoine de Raucourt
Nicolas de Raemy