Protecting Bologna since centuries

Jun 22, 2022

After two years during which it was studied and restored, on May 4, 2013, the venerated image of the Madonna Di San Luca, patron saint of the city of Bologna, was carried in procession and hosted for a week in Bologna’s cathedral.

The study of the icon was initiated for noble cause, namely for the creation of a 3D relief intended for the visually impaired. It was therefore necessary to “free”, even if only temporarily, the painting from the centuries-old silver and gold casing in which it is contained and which allows only the face of the Virgin and that of the Child to be seen.

It was finally possible to enjoy the sacred image up close and without “constraints” and to plan an in-depth study of the image and an important restoration.

The director of the works was the scholar Franco Faranda who judges the image of exceptional beauty especially when compared with works of the same period.

ArtTest Firenze was able to contribute to this in-depth study by carrying out an extensive diagnostic imaging campaign with Infrared Scanner Reflectography, Multilayer Analysis, Multispectral Infrared, UV Fluorescence and Visible imaging, IR False color, UV reflection and False Color UV, video microscopy in diffused and ultraviolet light.
The results of this campaign will be presented in a publication edited by Dr. Faranda.

Dusting and removing of a blackened layer of glue, consolidation of the pictorial film, and remediation of xylophagous insects damages, are the interventions that have characterized this conservation treatment.

On this occasion, a conservation intervention was also carried out on the beautiful planter that adorns the painting during his wanderings.