May 9, 2022

Dialogues at the Salone Monday 16 May from 5.15 pm to 6.30 pm – Sala Brambilla

Two years ago, just in these days, we were given the opportunity, timidly but finally, to resume our work. Florence was silent and lonely

Now, after months of virtual meetings, the time has finally come to see each other in person: the Salone del Restauro returns to Florence, from 16 to 18 May, in a new location in the center of the city, in the Palazzo della Borsa of the Chamber of Commerce, next to Ponte Vecchio. And the entrance is free

As announced, ArtTest will be there and will present the first evidence of the diagnostic campaign on the fourteenth-century “Painted Cross”, a work attributed to date to the Master of San Lucchese but whose authorship is yet to be confirmed or rediscovered.

In collaboration with the Ghelli Museum of San Casciano, thanks to the director Nicoletta Matteuzzi, supported by a project funded by Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze Foundation, and together with the restorers of L ‘Atelier, Angela Matteuzzi and Lucia Cioppi, we will illustrate you to the first stages of study of this artifact which was not produced in the current form and size, but was intially probably a rectangular table. The reason for the downsizing is still not clear: practice or necessity?

A work of great historical and artistic importance, probably painted by a follower of Giotto between 1340 and 1370, and with a long history of conservation that shows many interventions stratified over centuries. The painting presents a peculiar executive technique and a compositional system that makes use of incisions but which also shows other signs of peculiarity.

The synergy between the various professionals, the continuous comparison with the scientific bibliography, the historical-artistic bibliography and archival documents are the basis of this study.

A diagnostic campaign that is useful for both conservative and attributive purposes is not only complex, but as long as the entire restoration. In fact, it provides for data acquisitions to be carried out throughout the intervention, to program it but also to check and confirm, and possibly redefine.

It is customary to write about diagnostics (and restoration) only at the end of a restoration, as the final act of a journey, almost as if this was the goal.

In this case the work is still in progress. Research still ongoing.

Where will this research lead us? We obviously tried to define everything in the design phase, when we wondered about questions that need to be answered. The first phase was in fact that of observing the work “de visu“, simultaneously with the restorers, in order to understand what to investigate in depth, both because it is difficult to interpret and because it represents the entire surface.

After all, when the art historian, the restorer and the diagnostician confront each other and use the same dictionary, dialogue will be the first tool and document for studying the work.

In this case, the restoration was supported by a complete diagnostic campaign which thus becomes a chapter of a fascinating story, which is tinged with the bright colors of curiosity and wonder.

At the Salone we will present the dialogue, the observations that have arisen, the doubts that we hope to be able to dissolve with the in-depth analysis, the results already obtained.

We look forward to meeting you there!

Emanuela Massa