Emory’s Gaming Platform Recovers Urban History—a Virtual Experience of Rome at the Carlos Museum

Share Article

This is the first time a gaming platform has been used at Emory University to recover urban history through an immersive and interactive reconstruction.

Giovanni Batitista Falda (Italian, 1643-1678) The Garden of the Duke of Parma [from the Gardens of Rome] 1677 Etching

Giovanni Batitista Falda (Italian, 1643-1678), The Garden of the Duke of Parma [from the Gardens of Rome] 1677

"Virtual Rome" shows the urban fabric in great visual detail

The celebrated bird’s-eye view map of Giovanni Battista Falda, published in 1676, will be transformed into a virtual, walkable, experience of Rome using the gaming platform NVis360, as part of the Carlos Museum’s special exhibition, "Antichità, Teatro, Magnificenza: Renaissance and Baroque Images of Rome," on view from August 24 through November 17, 2013. "Virtual Rome" subsumes the fine detail of hundreds of etched views of the city made by the young Falda. The Carlos Museum is working in collaboration with Emory Professor of Art History, Sarah McPhee, and Jordan Williams and Erik Lewitt of plexus r + d.

A team of academics, architects, and 3D modelers are documenting Falda’s Rome in maps and views, checking Falda’s data against Rome today, the ichnographic map of 1748 by Giovanni Battista Nolli, and seventeenth-century views and surveyed maps that survive in the Roman archives. The composite image of "Virtual Rome" shows the urban fabric in great visual detail, allowing the viewer to wander the streets, count the windows in façades, and distinguish deciduous trees from evergreens.

McPhee notes, "The gaming platform allows us to follow the invitation of Falda’s prints to stroll the city with our eyes: to navigate lost streets and squares, take in vanished prospects, experience seventeenth-century Roman "teatri" in the round. This is the first time a gaming platform has been used at Emory University to recover urban history through an immersive and interactive reconstruction. We look forward to sharing the exciting results."

"Antichità, Teatro, Magnificenza: Renaissance and Baroque Images of Rome" has been made possible through the generous support of Bulgari, the Mixson Family Fund, the Emory Libraries and the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL), the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship, an anonymous donor, Mr. Vincent J. Buonanno, and Fifth Group Restaurants.

About the Michael C. Carlos Museum

The Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University collects, preserves, exhibits, and interprets art and artifacts from antiquity to the present in order to provide unique opportunities for education and enrichment in the community, and to promote interdisciplinary teaching and research at Emory University. The Carlos Museum is one of the Southeast's premier museums with collections of art from Greece, Rome, Egypt, Near East, Nubia, the Americas, Africa, and Asia, as well as a collection of works on paper from the Renaissance to the present. For location and admission information, visit the Carlos Museum: website.

Share article on socal media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Priyanka Sinha
Michael C. Carlos Museum
404-727-4291
Email >
Follow us on
Visit website