I just finished cleaning up a 3D scan of Mary’s head from the Pietà for a client. I had an opportunity to use a high-quality cold cast marble replica as reference, which was copied by the Reproduction Studio of the Metropolitan Museum of Art directly from the masterpiece in Rome. Taking a close look at the replica while fixing the 3D scan, it thrilled me to think about the strokes Michelangelo actually did when he carved the piece from a single block of Carrara marble in 1498.
Many transitional planes around Mary’s eyes, nose and cheeks are surprisingly subtle to me. The youthful delicacy on her face is historically questionable to art critics. As an artist, however, my main concern is that by fixing the photogrammetrical defects I learned new lessons about representing facial features, as well as the aesthetics of cloth design for sculpture.