Florence Trip and Senior Thesis

April 29, 2022


Ciao! Sorry for the late update – we’ve been super busy! In February the FLAW team went to Florence during our Washington break, and we got a ton done: Professor Bent scanned parts of San Lorenzo, The Duomo, and the Baptistery, while Dave, McKenzie, Lorrie, Ava, and Elyssa took tons of pictures – for photogrammetry models of course. We also had some really good food, of course, which we really felt like we earned after climbing the 500 stairs up the Campanile! We’re super excited to get the models up and running – San Lorenzo is shaping up to be one of our best models yet!

Also, this spring we say goodbye to our project seniors Elyssa, Haochen, and Georgie! While they’ll get a formal goodbye later, Elyssa and HaoChen recently completed some big projects that we’re excited to share:


My capstone is about the 3D reconstruction of the Santa Maria Novella Old Church in Blender. The foundation of the model is the point clouds of the current Santa Maria Novella collected by Prof. Bent in June 2021 and also the floor plan in "The Dominican Church of Santa Maria Novella at Florence" written by James Brown and published in 1905. This model can be used to showcase the history of the Santa Maria Novella.


My thesis, Florence + The Machine, uses a 2D convolutional neural network to attribute paintings with inconsistent scholarship to Florentine workshops from the late trecento. Results from this project indicate that Jacopo di Cione, Niccolò di Pietro Gerini, and several of their assistants were the masters responsible for a body of manuscript illuminations previously attributed to a single figure named Don Silvestro dei Gherarducci. I plan to add more data, including images attributed to other workshops active in the same period as well as pigments and binders, during the nine months I will spend in Italy with a Fulbright grant. Ultimately, I plan to make a tool that can autonomously attribute paintings to late trecento Florentine workshops with problematic or unknown attributions.

Congrats to Elyssa and Haochen! As always, keep checking back for new project updates!

- AB