Ribera ..”won back”!

Oct 25, 2020 | Restoration

San Paolo Bank sponsored, this year as well, some restoration works of neglected or needing artworks. Among the most prestigious pieces the “Cristo in meditazione” by Ribera of the Galleria Palatina of Florence was restored by Anna Teresa Monti. The painting with the original signature, was covered by a thick varnish layer and was interested by several past interventions. Art-Test performed the Multilayer acquisition and the IR scanner reflectography, both at regular (on the entire surface) and at quadruple resolution. This last analysis was performed on a relatively small area including the left hand of the saint, where an unclear paint layer had to be further investigated to understand whether it was an original or a restoration layer. To this aim a very new technique was applied: the XRF scanner (in collaboration with S.T.Art-Test). A very high resolution map of the pigment in the investigated area can be achieved this way, and a quantitative analysis performed. This is a revolution in XRF data, since it gives a quantitative insight also in the investigation of the composition of the various superimposing layers. In this case it was possible to conclude not only that the paint layer was original, despite the slightly different colour, but also that the painter carried out the composition, not only the drawing, before deciding to change for a different pose of the hand.
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