Where is the real Lucy angel?

We’ve all seen the Stanford scan of Lucy. It is a scan of a real statue. Where is that statue? When I search the web I find CG models made from the scan everywhere but so far no information about the real statue.

It’s a fairly common statue, the pattern is “Angel of Light”, and you can easily find a bunch of that statue being sold from statuaries. The Vatican has a fairly large collection thereof:

Here’s another source: https://www.marianland.com/orlandi/angels2/F7000.html
You can find it from most Catholic suppliers, it would seem, and the first appearances of it are all in the last ~100 years. I can find no instances of it before the 1900s. I believe this is a design commercialized fairly recently by the Vatican and sold to churches. It appears to be no longer in active sale, as most places you can find it are second-hand dealers. My hypothesis for now is that it is a mid 1950s design with 1500s influence. Note also that it’s not a statue of St. Lucy- none of the existing statues of St. Lucy match the Stanford one. Lucy was probably a code name chosen either to honor one of the scanners, or for some sentimental attachment.

I’ve emailed a few experts, I’ll update this reply with any information I can gather.


Yep, but an original must exists somewhere, sculpted by a sculptor. Then clones arrived, and 3d clones too.
Even David by Michelangelo is sold at any market in Florence… :wink:

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It looks like scan was done, from a resin copy, in Italy according to site of Digital Michelangelo Project.

But there is no information about original statue, except that is an italian statue.


According to Kari Pulli, one of the leaders of the scanning project:

The “Lucy” statue was not an original statue, it was some (relatively) cheap plastic replica statue that we had in the lab, we used it mostly for practicing and testing the scanner before going to Italy.

The statue was in the lab already before I started working at Stanford.

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More interesting info. than I expected. Thanks everyone!

Angel of Light. Searching for that produced many statues and several related items that could be interesting to model.

Isscpp, I thought the original was probably part of a cathedral and that would be the answer. It does look more modern than that and j_claytonhansen’s research confirms that and that it has been at Stanford for some time. Zeauro, at your link they write, “a resin copy of an Italian statue”. So according to them it is Italian in origin. Interesting.

I like this statue because it is graceful, with its torch it is a bit like Liberty Enlightening the World (aka the Statue of Liberty), and it is a an angel. I will use the model respectfully in a CG Christmas short film when I ever learn enough CG to make it.

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I’ve contacted Marc Levoy, per Mr. Pulli’s instructions, who told me Mr. Levoy would know the origin of the statue if anyone did. When he responds, I’ll put it here :slight_smile:

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Next step is to investigate where the bunny and the dragon come from… :face_with_monocle:

Bunny Origin

I was a postdoc at Stanford University with Marc Levoy in 1993 and 1994. One day, close to the Easter holiday, I was out shopping on University Avenue near the Stanford campus. I entered a shop that sold various decorative items for the home and garden. On one of the shelves of the store was a large collection of clay bunny rabbits, all identical. I had range scanning on my mind, and these bunnies looked to be about the right shape and size for our scanning project. Even better, these bunnies were made of terra cotta (red clay), so they were red and diffuse. I bought one of these bunnies. Had I known how popular the digital model would become, I would have bought many! I brought this clay bunny back to the Stanford Graphics Lab and scanned it from several directions. Using the methods that Marc and I developed, I aligned a collection of ten such range scans to one another and merged them into a single polygonal mesh. The resulting model has come to be known as the Stanford Bunny. The original bunny still lives at Stanford.


Mr. Hansen,

I don’t remember where we bought this replica statue - it has been more than 20
years. I do remember once researching the origins of its design, but not coming
up with anything more concrete than a number of churches in Italy that have
similar angels. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

-Marc Levoy
Professor of Computer Science, Emeritus
Stanford University


Curiosity turned into fun detective work and interesting CG history. Thanks j_claytonhansen and everyone. And thanks to Mr. Pulli, Mr. Levoy.

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