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Start of the Rodin Nude Photo Project. Inspired by the sculptures and drawings of Auguste Rodin, Hans de Roos creates a series of nude photo studies. Between 1992 and 1998, over 60 photo shootings with volunteer models take place in his Munich studio. Room is left for improvisation, for the natural gestures and movements of the model.


A series of black and white photo studies are worked out as gum bichromate prints. The works are exhibited at the Institut für Kunstgeschichte in Bonn and as part of the exhibition "Sculpture in the Light of Photography" (Wilhelm-Lehmbruckmuseum, Duisburg, Musée d´Art et d´Histoire, Fribourg, Switzerland, Museum Moderner Kunst Sammlung Ludwig, Vienna). 

While searching for other exhibition venues, an extensive address file and contact network are created, comprising ca. 60 Museums in Europe and the USA: the beginning of the Rodin-Web.

Febr. 2001

The museum address list is published at
Since then, the Rodin-Web has expanded to become the largest online database on Rodin collections worldwide.

June 2001

First contact with Mr William Moore, Director of the MacLaren Art Center in Barrie, Toronto, to learn more about the collection of Rodin foundry plasters to be donated to the MacLaren. In the course of their e-mail correspondence, Hans de Roos produces an overview of the current debate on posthumous casting, which is subsequently used as an outline for the Toronto Rodin Symposium.

6 Nov. 2001

Rodin Symposium "What is the Original?" at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. Hans de Roos represents the Rodin-Web as a speaker and is accompanied by his wife Borbála and their friends Alida Kreutzer and Moritz Gaupp: the nucleus of the Rodin-Web team. 
Still during our stay in Toronto, we discuss the possibility to create an empirical basis for the discussion on originality by means of 3D technique.

6-12 Dec. 2001

Preliminary outline for Rodin Virtual Sculpture Project sent out to MacLaren Art Center (Barrie, Can.), Stanford University/Cantor Foundation (Stanford, Cal.), Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft, Kunst und Forschung, Neue Pinakothek and Glyptothek (Munich, Germany). 

Nov. 2001 - 
Jan. 2002

During these months, we maintain an extensive e-mail correspondence with Dr David Schaff, Senior Curator of the Toronto exhibition, and other experts, on the issues of originality and the provenance of the Barrie Collection. Our findings are published under the title RODIN AT THE R.O.M. - WHAT IS THE ORIGINAL?

Simultaneously, we collect data on the various versions of Rodin's monumental Thinker and publish the results at, addressing the issue of unprecise and insufficient measurements and the need for comparative studies based on sets of surface co-ordinates.

Christmas 2001

Our team meets in Budapest over the Christmas holidays. In the famous Café Gerbeaud, we discuss the chances of actually realizing the planned 3D project and finance it from private funds. To begin with, we decide to inform ourselves more thoroughly about the various methods of 3D measurement.

Jan. 2002

Back in Munich, we start designing test objects for 3D scanning. We create simulated Rodin sculptures from pappmaché.

We also build turntables, so that objects can be rotated and viewed from all sides.

26 Jan. 2002

First meeting in Munich in restaurant La Bohème with Curator Mr Piotr Michalowski of the National Museum in Poznan, to discuss our ideas and plan the scanning of the monumental Thinker plaster in Poland. This sculpture was donated by Mr P. W. Uhle in 1905 to the Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum.

Together with Mr Michalowski, we start archive research to find out more about Mr Uhle. We also begin to establish contacts with other Museums in order to obtain permission for our visits.

31 Jan. 2002

Our team meets at the Pasinger Culture Factory and discusses the measurement precision we intend to reach for scanning large sculptures like the Poznan Thinker. Südfassade der Pasinger Fabrik

As a preliminary goal, we agree that measurement errors should not amount to more than 2 mm for a 2 m high sculpture (less than 0.1 %).

11 Febr. 2002

Email request to all major 3D scanner producers to inform them about our project and check if they have appropriate equipment for our project goals.

26 Febr. 2002

VIVID 900 Mr Marco Zajac and Ms Stefanie Adolf of Minolta 3D, Langenhagen, visit us in Munich to demonstrate the Minolta Vivid 900 System. We make test scans of several objects.

27 Febr. 2002

First contact with Mr Jim Morgenstern, Sales Manager for Surphaser scanners at Basis Software Inc. We send a small plaster torso as test object, which is scanned for us in the company´s Moscow laboratory. 

We are able to evaluate the quality of the scans by using MeshView.

4 April 2002

Mr Paul Davison, UK representative of 3D Digital Corp., visits us in Munich to demonstrate the 3DD Scanner Model 300. Together, we scan a series of test objects, mostly with irregular surfaces. We decide to purchase a Model 300, but after a series of further tests, we finally have to conclude that the scanning resolution and quality is not sufficient for our goals.

18 April 2002

Phase One, H20 Meeting with Mr Neumann at Konrad-Neumann GmbH in Günding near Munich to see a demonstration of the PhaseOne H20 and H5 digital scanbacks. We make test photos of several objects and compare them to other materials.

25 April 2002

Meeting with Mr Benjamin von Kreutzbruck and colleagues at Anagramm GmbH in Unterhaching near Munich to see a demonstration of the Salvadore Scanback and discuss the possibility of co-operation.

10 May 2002

Second meeting Mr Benjamin von Kreutzbruck and colleagues at Anagramm GmbH in Unterhaching near Munich to have a practical training with the Salvadore Scanback.

13 May 2002

Our team meets to discuss our internal division of tasks and questions of financing.

16/17 May 2002

Trip to London to meet Mr Peter Petrov, owner of Basis Software, and Mr Mike Davis, AG Electro-Optics, for an individual demonstration of the Surphaser scanner. We discuss the test scans of our small plaster torso made im Moscow and scan further objects to see the Surphaser in action.

26/27 May 2002

Second and third meeting in Munich with Curator Mr Piotr Michalowski of the National Museum in Poznan, to discuss our project and plan the scanning of the Thinker plaster in Poland. We report on our findings regarding the Uhle family.


24 June 2002

ViHAP3DOur project is accepted as member of the Special Interest User Group (SIUG) of the VIHAP 3D Platform, managed by the Max-Planck-Institute in Saarbrücken.

2 July 2002

First contact with Mr Bernhard Tyborski at Breuckmann GmbH; we are invited to see a demonstration of Breuckmann equipment in Meersburg. Breuckmann GmbH produces highly sophisticated 3D measurement equipment based on the projection of stripe patterns. This method promises higher resolution and less measurement noise than the laser scanners we have tested so far.

5 July 2002

Meeting with Mr Sigmund Scriba at DESCAM GmbH in Unterhaching near Munich to see a demonstration of the ModelMaker XP sensor in combination with Faro Gold Arm. Again, we make test scans of a small plaster torso.
Since we cannot afford to invest in such a high-end system, we look for institutional partners with which we could share the use of such a scanning system.

11 July 2002

First contact with Professor John Cosmas at Brunel University, London (3D MURALE project), to discuss the features of various 3D scanning devices. Brunel University plans to invest in a ModelMaker system that can be transported to archaeology sites all over Europe. We discuss the chances of a co-operation.

18 July 2002

First contact with Mr Aaron Bergstrom at the North Dakota State University Archaeology Technologies Laboratory.

We start to exchange experience in the use of various 3D scanning devices and software. 

25 July 2002

Small plaster torso sent to Dr Carsten Reich at GOM GmbH, for test scans. The object and the 3D files are returned only in August, due to the holiday season. The GOM scanning quality is flawless, but by then, other co-operations seems to be more convenient and affordable.


25 July 2002

Contact with Mr David Hampton, UK, one of the users of Surphaser scanning equipment. Mr Hampton has acquired a Surphaser system to scan art objects in British Museums. We start exchanging experiences and ideas.

29 July 2002

First meeting with Dr Bernd Breuckmann and Mr Bernhard Tyborski in Meersburg to present our Rodin Virtual Sculpture Project, and discuss the possibility of co-operation. Test scans of various objects are made, with highly satisfying results. 
Dr Breuckmann kindly offers to support our project with his equipment and expertise.

6 Aug. 2002

On our way back from Holland and Luxembourg,  we visit Strasbourg to make preparatory photographs of the Thinker plaster in the Musée d'art moderne et contemporain.

20/21 Sept. 2002

Meeting and training at Breuckmann´s facilities in Meersburg to get better acquainted with OptoTop hardware and OptoCat software. We prepare for our trip to Strasbourg we plan to make together with Breuckmann staff.

23 Sept. 2002

Second visit to Strasbourg, together with Dr Bernd Breuckmann, Ms Breuckmann and Mr Bernhard Tyborski to make 3D scans and stereo photographs of the monumental Thinker plaster (183.5 cm). We work with three different Breuckmann sensors, OptoCat and PolyWorks software.

11 Jan. 2003

Meeting in Munich with Mr Jacques de Caso, Professor Emeritus of Art History at the University of California at Berkeley, to discuss Rodin topics. Prof. de Caso strongly supports our idea to develop a more objective way of defining and measuring the spatial properties of sculpture.

7/8 Febr. 2003

A further meeting and training in Meersburg to get better acquainted with Optocat hardware and software. We learn how to operate the sensors and match single scan files ourselves. This time, we prepare our joint visit to the Sculpture Museum Heilbronn.

10 Febr. 2003

Visit to Heilbronn together with Dr Bernd Breuckmann to make 3D scans and stereo photographs of the medium-size Eve plaster (72 cm).

We work with two  OptoTop sensors (40 and 20 cm FOV) and create a nearly complete virtual model of the figure.

28 Febr. 2003

First work meeting with Dr Hans-Peter Duwe in Lindau to get acquainted with PolyWorks software written by InnovMetric in Canada. PolyWorks is a powerful tool to control and edit the data we have acquired during our Museum trips. Together, we work on the 3D data from Strasbourg and Heilbronn.

3/4 April 2003

Presentation of the Rodin Virtual Sculpture Project at the 3D Forum in Lindau.


28 April 2003

Third trip to Strasbourg. This time, we work with the ModelMaker X 140 sensor and Faro Gold Arm to make further 3D scans of the Thinker. This time, we manage to create a complete model, including critical areas like the inside of the hands. The scans are saved as SAB2 files. 

1 May 2003

Second work meeting with Dr Hans-Peter Duwe in Lindau to check the quality of the Thinker scans made in Strasbourg with ModelMaker X 140 sensor and Faro Gold Arm. We reorganize the point clouds and create mesh files in PIF format.

29 Sept. - 
1 Oct. 2003 

Trip to Belfort, France to scan plaster sculptures Rodin donated to his friends Camille Lefevre: Mask of the Man with the Broken Nose, Caryatide, Minotaur, Polyphem. 

We work with Breuckmann Opto Top equipment with a 20 cm scanning window and produce hundreds of patches which we match with each other still in the Museum.

5-8 Oct. 2003

First working session with the new 10-foot Faro Platinum Arm, to scan the monumental version of The Walking Man in the Kunstmuseum Basel. The sculpture is ca. 214 cm high; altogether we need 24 scanning hours to complete our virtual model, with a lateral resolution of 0.2 mm. 

1-3 Nov. 2003

At last we can make our long-planned trip to Poland, in order to scan the monumental Thinker plaster donated by P. W. Uhle to the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in January 1905. This time, we need ca. 27,5 hours of scanning to capture the complete sculpture, with a lateral resolution of 0.2 mm as well.

9 Dec. 2003

Meeting with David Hampton in Munich to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of working with his Surphaser Scanner, as compared to the equipment we have been using. Because of the Single-Line-Of-Sight-Principle of the Surphaser scanner, we plan to co-operate on selected projects.

15 Dec. 2003

Third work meeting with Dr Hans-Peter Duwe in Lindau to produce an exact comparison of the Strasbourg and the Poznan Thinker by means of PolyWorks Inspector Software. 
The colour maps showing the differences between the two plasters point out a deviation in shape of up to 4 mm, due to the fact the upper body of Strasbourg Thinker - compared to the Poznan example -is slightly leaning to its dexter side. In relation to the total height of 1,835 mm, this means a lateral distortion of 0,22%. We also document other anomalies, like the false repair of the left foot in Strasbourg and a falsely restaurated thumb of the Poznan Thinker. We discover a significant deviation in the area of the dexter cheek/upper lip as well. Moreover, we check with other sculpture experts, to interpret the meaning of the three small holes we found in the chest and under left the armpit of the Poznan Thinker. The edges of these holes show the fine straw material that has been used to reinforce the plaster sculpture - a technique employed by the Guiochet brothers, Rodin's mouleurs.


Sept. 2002 till
Dec. 2004

Altogether we have by now (Dec. 2004) visited 12 different Museums in Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland and Poland to make pictures and 3D measurements of more than 30 plaster sculptures, some of them with a resolution as high as 12 lines/mm. We have recorded a number of similar or identical-looking pairs, like two medium-size Eves, two Masks of the Man with the Broken Nose, two Polyphems, two Caryatids, etc. which will allow us to make a comparative analysis of these subjects as well.

A report on these visits and evaluations will be published as part of a planned PhD thesis by Hans de Roos. Below, we have published some pictures to give a first impression of our various trips.