Caravaggio’s ‘Portrait of a gentleman’: new discoveries on a touchscreen display.

With an excellent example of museum management, the Museo Civico of Montepulciano puts technology at visitors’ service offering an absolutely innovative opportunity to navigate the secrets of one of its finest pieces: the “Portrait of a Gentleman” recently investigated by Art-Test Firenze, restored by Mary Lippi, and attributed to Caravaggio by Prof. Massimo Pulini.

Too often technical reports by art historians, diagnostics experts and conservators are stored and forgotten. To the contrary, the Fondazione Musei Senesi and the Municipality of Montepulciano have chosen an innovative way to share this information to the benefit of the visiting public.
An interactive installation, in Italian and in English, narrates the complex story of the painting, and provides additional content.
Thanks to the touchscreen display and its intuitive navigation, it is possible to deepen the knowledge on the masterpiece by flipping as through a book, scrolling and zooming as desired to see the details of most interesting images.
Of four sections, the last one is reserved to the restoration intervention. It describes both the cleaning operation of the painting surface, which allowed its readability, and the complete diagnostic investigation performed by Art-Test. In this chapter the visitor has the opportunity to learn in a simple and immediate way the wide range of diagnostic analyses performed.
The UV Fluorescence method, the exclusive Art-Test patented Multilayer image stratigraphy; the IR Reflectography; the X-radiography: they all revealed more information about the deeper structures of the painting, confirming its compatibility with Caravaggio’s period.