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Procida, a small island in the bay of Naples, became the protagonist of a conference focused on the possibility for it of being a recuperation model in the broadest sense. Its historical heritage could in fact become the engine of economic and cultural wealth.
“The Island of Procida: the sustainable rebirth and the beauty economy” is the title of the conference, to which Art-Test participated, and during which speakers explained the developments and possible variations of that aspiration.
The starting point is a huge historical and architectural complex dating back to 1200, including the hunting lodge of Ferdinand II of Bourbon, who later became a maximum security prison of the Italian State, unfortunately abandoned since 1988, because it did not comply with the new safety standards.
In recent years, the property ownership was transferred to the City itself, and today Procida attempts to revive this “piece” of the island’s history, proposing it as a possible model of sustainable development. This ambitious project aims at making the complex attractive for research organizations, universities and … individuals, making Palazzo d’Avalos, and the former penitential home, models of cultural and economic evolution.
Already during the first intervention at the conference, the importance of diagnostics tests was underlined as being the initial moment of knowledge but also an undisputable means for the future prominence of it. Understanding and awareness raising through art diagnostics.
Procida, and its place for “locking down”, the former prison, wants to become a place of great openness to the various forms of culture.
With Cultural Heritage mingled with contemporaneity. A contemporary artist, Alfredo Pirri, had, in fact, already chosen the island last year for “7.0”, a suggestive creation with which to bring to the memory of the viewers “the same look , identically dreamy or painful that once ran through the very same window and headed for the sea and far away places once only imagined”. The window is one of many in this complex looking towards Vesuvius, behind which in the morning you can enjoy the romantic tones of a special sunrise, with colors that fascinated so much the Grand Tour painters.
And it is this landscape, seen from the highest point of the island, allowing to embrace in a single sight the whole territory of the Campi Flegrei, to create a unique added value for a place which is meant to be a point from which to observe, but that it now also under the spot light.
The Symposium was an interesting opportunity to learn, thanks to the Superintendent of Pisa, Dott. Francesco D’Anselmo, the official Amedeo Mercurio and to Dr. Roberta Lapucci, head of the restoration department of SACI, about the history and the current status of the fortification built in 1603 on the initiative of Philip II, and the adjoining church. A nodal and strategic site to defend Elba and Argentario from pirate raids from the south and French attacks from the north. Depleted from this function, from the mid-nineteenth century the fortification was gradually converted to a penitential institution.
The paintings which belong to the church and were the subject of analysis and restoration are of the Florentine school and dated between the seventeenth and eighteenth century. They were donated by the Tuscan grand ducal court or commissioned by the governors of the Fort. The iconographic theme is centered on sacred subjects and honours the saints celebrated by the post-Tridentine tradition.
In 1987, because of a riot in the prison, the church was severely damaged and has since been abandoned.
Only now, thanks to the synergy between the SACI school and the Superintendent a project is being carried out to return to the public part of the goods stored here Art-Test has contributed a diagnostic campaign that has studied the first four paintings which underwent restoration. Both addressing conservation aspects and studying the genesis of the paintings through the study of the underlying composition, visualized thanks to reflectographic imaging performed.
The day ended with a praise for the initiative, with the confirmation of the obvious need to recover a site so important to the history of Elba island but also with a reflection, as underlined by dr. Mercurio on what could be the future of the church’s art apparatus. Currently it is not foreseen for the church to be reopened to the public. The restored works if not relocated would still remain unseen by the community. Alternative solutions are therefore being sought after. An alternative way of exhibit could for example include showing the diagnostic surveys to add intriguing information and create fascinating opportunities for the curious tourist.
Here the link to a video of the exhibition https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iS9Jb3GkM9o
For Art-Test, the Aiar appointment is double. If you have missed the interesting workshop on Caravaggio last April in Empoli, you can take the opportunity to see the work of Art-Test in conjunction with S.T. Art-Test entitled “Caravaggio or not Caravaggio? Preliminary scientific evidence for the attribution of the St. John the Baptist of Empoli (Tuscany)”. How many of sensational discoveries news are given when it comes to names such as Caravaggio, however, without the support of an adequate system of preliminary studies? The infrared analysis on Empoli version of San Giovanni Battista discloses important factual discoveries; the debate is open: the scientific data can really make a difference and rewrite the entire history of a painting!
For the complete program of the congress AIAr:
Chinese porcelain is one of the great protagonists of the art market in recent years; but how do you prove that such pieces are worthy a relevant investment and are not fake?
Experience has taught that for great quality imitations, the traditional authentication methods based on the study of style, decoration, materials and trademarks, often proved to be inadequate. Even for porcelain artefacts scientific diagnostic is fundamental. For these artefacts chemical microsamples analyses are traditionally used, although in recent decades, advanced non-invasive techniques have developed that can limit (micro-) destructive sampling.
In this regard, we are pleased to remind you that on next 10 March, during “A bridge between art and science: past, present and future”, the 2016 National Congress of AIAr (Italian Association of Archaeometry of which Art-Test is a member), we will be guests of the University of Cosenza along with many scholars and professionals, teachers and researchers from universities and public research bodies, archaeologists and restorers to discuss diagnostic, restoration, preventive conservation and protection.
During the session “Characterization and Diagnostics” will present together with colleagues from S.T. Art-Test and one of the greatest experts of these artefacts, Riccardo Montanari, the intervention “A non-invasive approach for the authentication of oriental porcelain“. Our proposal is based on the integration of non-invasive fluorescence X-rays and computed tomography X-ray… more details on Thursday 10th!!
Our attention to the Chinese market does not stop there. It is an increasingly attractive market, especially now that the attention of Chinese collectors is turning also towards European paintings, as proven by the recent purchase at auction of a Modigliani by a Chinese tycoon for 170 million dollars. Art-Test is approaching this reality, following different paths… news on that will be coming soon!
During the “7th IEEE International Workshop on Information Forensics and Security (WIFS) 2015”, on November 19, a paper by L.Pronti, P. Ferrara, F.Uccheddu, A. Pelagotti and A.Piva entitled “Identification of pictorial materials by means of optimized multispectral reflectance image processing.” will be presented. The work relates to the analysis of the limits and the possibilities offered by multispectral imaging for a reliable identification of materials used in paintings, and stems from the increasingly active collaboration between the University of Florence, La Sapienza in Rome and Art-Test . The multispectral imaging is always a relevant topic, and an interesting non-invasive method, although recently abused by those who lack the necessary scientific basis. Art-test has been a pioneer of this field, with the paper “Multispectral Imaging of Paintings: a Way to Material Identification” by A.Pelagotti, A. Del Mastio, A .de Rosa, A.Piva, , published in the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, Special Issue on Cultural Heritage, vol. 25 n. 4 in July 2008. Since its start, Art-Test develops and applies cutting-edge scientific methods for artworks analysis and diagnostics. We do not use PhotoShop or similar commercial software. The results of our research are usually presented in relevant scientific publications, except when prevented by confidentiality reasons. If you are interested in the scientific methods used in our investigations, please check http://www.art-test.com/pubblicazioni/
The latest publications to which Art-Test contributed:
- V.Raimondi at alii, The use of IR-based techniques in the PRIMARTE project: an integrated approach to the diagnostics of the cultural heritage AITA 215- Advanced Infrared Technology and Applications – 29 Sept. – 2 Oct. 2015, Pisa, Italy, SPIE Remote Sensing 2015 -1 – 24 September 2015 – Toulouse, France AITA
- V.Raimondi at al A multi-disciplinary study on a late 14th-century Florentine Chapel: integrating information, from laser-based measurements to archive historical data, in a multi-medial tools for cultural heritage conservation, LACONA X 2014 – Lasers in the Conservation of Artworks, 9-13 June 2014, Sharjah, UAE
- F.Uccheddu, A.Pelagotti, V.Cappellini and E.Massa. 3D Technology for Measurement of Surface Deformations Paintings: A Case Study, Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2014) London, UK, 8-10 July 2014
- F. Alberghina, M.F. Alberghina, L. Damiani, E. Massa, A. Pelagotti, L.Piccione, S. Schiavone, U. Copani, X-rays for diagnostic imaging of art -46 ° National Congress of the Italian Society of Medical Radiology (SIRM), Florence – Fortezza da Basso (22-25 May 2014) “The X-ray over the Medicine”
- F.Alberghina, MFAlberghina, L.Damiani, E.Massa, A.Pelagotti, S. Schiavone, How many layers and of what? An integrated non-invasive approach for the understanding of painting’s stratigraphy, IV International Meeting “Youth in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage – YOCOCU”, 28 to 31 May 2014, Agsu – Azerbaijan.
- The Pala del Carmine Santi di Tito, analysis of technique and materials used, Science and Technology for Cultural Heritage, Fabrizio Serra publisher, Pisa – Rome
- The Rape of the Sabines by Giambologna and its restoration. And syllables, Livorno by Lia Brunori and Susanna Bracci
- Beyond Gold: a database of underdrawings and material analyzes on Sienese paintings. Connections and dissimilarities of painting techniques across centuries and countries. Published by Bernard Coulie and Paul Dujardin
- Above and below the painting: the results of scientific studies on the Madonna di San Luca in Bologna, curated by Dr. Franco Faranda
A conference about the influence of the Lombard painter in Northern Europe is scheduled for the end of November at the Museum Catharijneconvent, Utrecht (NL).
The conference aims to shed new light on the diversity of artistic responses derived from the works painted by Caravaggio during the first decades of the seventeenth century. Interesting is also the proposal to investigate the mechanisms of migration, the history of collecting and the relationships between the artists. The conference anticipates some of the central themes of the upcoming exhibition “Caravaggio and the painters of the North”, which will take place at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid (June 21-September 25, 2016).
Here is the link for more information: http://niki-florence.org/caravaggio-and-northern-european-painting-niki-conference-utrecht-30-november/
The conference poster shows the painting “St. John the Baptist”, which we discussed in http://www.art-test.com/unforgettable-out-look/, in occasion of the presentation of the analysis of the version of Empoli.
We are happy to invite you to “Sotto-sopra, quando le indagini rivoluzionano la conoscenza di un’opera d’arte!” : an event conceived by S.T.Art-Test and Art-test, and organized in collaboration with the Gallery of Modern Art and the Culture Department of the City of Palermo, and the “Youth Committee: Sicily region – Italian National Commission for UNESCO”. It will be held on November 1st, 2015 at GAM in Palermo.
The event is part of the second National Festival dedicated to the interaction between art and science organized by the Italian Association of Archaeometry (AIAr).
After the success of the 12-13 December 2014 edition , which involved 11 locations across Italy and saw the participation of S.T.Art-Test at the Archaeological Museum of Himera (Termini Imerese, PA), AIAr makes a second edition with a new program of meetings, events and workshops focused on the link between art and science. The discussion topics will mostly be diagnostic and conservation. Private companies, university researchers and research organizations will provide the visitors information on the use of scientific methods applied to cultural heritage.
Do not miss, then, the day of November 1st, 2015 when seminars and workshops will animate the two scheduled sessions ( session I, 11:00 to 12:30 and session II 16:30 to 18:00) focused on scientific investigation to the knowledge of the paintings and the use of non-invasive equipment for the study of two paintings of the e\xhibitions which the management of GAM has made available for the occasion. Come and discover with us who it is!