The Winged Victory sculpture was probably produced in the second quarter of the first century AD by a high-level bronze atelier in northern Italy, perhaps as a votive offering for a successful military conflict. The leg, which is slightly raised, probably rested originally on Mars’ helmet and the unnatural position of the left arm is because it once held a shield.
Brought to light in 1826 during excavations financed by a public fund-raising campaign, the discovery was so famous that Napoleon III, who stayed in Brescia before the Battle of Solferino, asked to visit the Patrio Museum and was so struck by the beauty of the statue, he asked if he could have a copy made, which is now kept in the Louvre.
Between 2018 and 2020, the statue was carefully restored at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence, and at the same time a new internal support was designed with special compatible and reversible features that allowed the various parts of the statue, including its body, arms, and wings, to be reconstructed and sustained.
When the restoration was complete, the statue was returned to Brescia, where the architect Juan Navarro Baldeweg designed a new lighting scheme to complete his installation project.
The sculpture stands on a new cylindrical anti-seismic base positioned laterally in relation to the exhibition hall and diagonally in relation to the main luminaire. This setup creates a theatrical tension between Winged Victory and the space around it, which is the heart of Ancient Roman Brixia.
In this dramatic setting, chosen by Juan Navarro Baldeweg, the light – which is exclusively artificial as requested by the architect – plays a fundamental role. The lighting design defined by Baldeweg for the exhibition hall is inspired by a nocturnal mood and created with a soft, homogeneous and diffuse light effect. The main illumination system, created specifically by iGuzzini, is suspended in space to evoke the floating effect of a moon. This is created by a combination of different luminaires. The first is Isola, a luminous disc with a diameter of 1150 millimetres for general lighting. The second is a series of Underscore InOut light lines, positioned on a ring that can be adjusted vertically along the pendant rod that anchors it to the false ceiling. This is positioned at a distance of 30 centimetres from the Isola disc and precision-tilted to evenly light the ceiling and indirectly the space below. The last model used is Palco. Installed on a Low Voltage track with a special finish, these projectors create accent lighting to highlight the details of the classical sculpture. A third Palco projector, directed at the east wall, completes the composition by recreating the effect of the shield on the wall, which would have originally been held by Victory’s left arm.
Lastly, Linealuce 47 light lines, hidden in the ceiling, define the perimeter of the space. These use grazing light to illuminate the walls, which are faced with brick to recall the exterior wall finish of the entire Capitolium. A final Palco projector has been installed in the grooves in the false ceiling to illuminate the face of the classical sculpture with accent light and enhance the overall visitor experience.
The lighting is managed by a Master Pro Evo Knx control system, based on KNX and DALI technologies, which allows all the functions to be controlled from a central unit. This offers flexibility, safety, maximum energy savings and visual comfort, as well as a combination of 5 different lighting scenarios.
Two scenarios are looped. The first focuses the visitor's attention on Winged Victory with its projectors on at 100 percent and focused on her face, while the ambient light is switched off in the room, but not on the wall with the bronze exhibits, which remains fully illuminated. After this, the projector recreating the shield on the east wall comes on and then the "moon” is switched on, too, with a very low lighting level.
Depending on the situation, three more scenarios can be activated manually from a touch screen. These switch on all the luminaires at 100%, as well as creating different balances between warm and cold light and dimming that mainly affects the perimeter light.
All the solutions chosen are dimmable and feature tunable white technology (except for the Palco luminaires that have a fixed colour temperature of 2700 K). This allows both quantitative adjustments - in terms of light intensity - and qualitative adjustments - in terms of colour temperature - to enhance in the best way possible this splendid sculptural symbol of Brescia, the various archaeological exhibits on display and the textures of the brick facing.
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