“The Martyrdom of St. Lawrence” returns to Alba and reveals an apparent self-portrait of the Master.
The restoration of Titian’s masterpiece “The Martyrdom of St Lawrence” required a complex work, lasting about a year time. But diagnostics and conservation intervention, funded by the Bank of Alba, breathes new life into Titian’s work. In fact, the canvas was in very bad conditions, and it was just the timely restoration of Nicola Restauri, a specialized company based in Aramengo, which saved it from an irretrievable conservation state. To know more about the genesis of this masterpiece, the painting technique used by Titian was investigated by Art-Test researchers who performed their examination just after the last cleaning step. Our labs were asked to perform IR scanner reflectography, with our exclusive device designed and realized in-house, that easily allows a high spatial and tonal resolution metric acquisition even on such large surfaces. The investigation revealed that in large areas of the artwork, there were no changes in the composition thus confirming the fascinating greatness of this Old Master.
Furthermore, an intriguing new detail has come to light, previously unnoticed by scholars: an apparent self-portrait of the Renaissance painter, swathed in a turban, tucked away in the bottom left hand corner of the work.
This is a restoration of immeasurable importance for Italy’s artistic heritage. The painting went on display on Thursday May 17th, in Alba, where it will remain until December 2012. Then, it will be returned to its historic home, the Church of the Jesuits in Venice that hosts it from the middle of the XVII century.
From the Gazzetta d’Alba newspaper: http://www.gazzettadalba.it/2012/05/un-restauro-difficile/