Complete restoration for the Capponi Chapel in Oltrarno

The intervention will include a total revamp

Samantha Vaughn
April 11, 2017 - 13:04

Thanks to a donation by Friends of Florence and the donors Kathe and John Dyson, the Capponi Chapel in the church of Santa Felicta is set to undergo a major restoration. Work has already begun on the revamp, which will involve interventions across the board, including stone and wooden pieces, marble works, wall decorations, detached frescoes and deteriorated plaster.

 

Following the repositioning of Agnolo Bronzino’s tondo of Saint Mark, it was possible to carry out an analysis of the state of conservation within the monumental complex. Examinations included looking at the Annunciation by Pontormo, which had become detached from its wall, divided in two after the infamous 1966 flood and suffered a history of questionable conservation methods; Pontormo’s other masterpiece, The Deposition from the Cross, which revealed cracks, a slight lifting of some of the painted layers and dirt and smoke build-up; The Deposition’s frame, shown to be heavily worm-eaten, which will call for a disinfection of the entire wooden structure; and a 17th-century tabernacle-reliquary, made from marble and precious stones and dedicated to Cardinal Charles Borromeo, found to be broken and unstable in some parts, and showing signs of build-up.

 

    

 

The restoration will be carried out by Daniele Rossi, who previously worked on the pendentive tondi in the Chapel’s dome depicting the Evangelists and Pontormo’s famed Visitation in Carmignano, currently on display in the Palazzo Strozzi for Bill Viola. Electronic Renaissance. Throughout the operation, a video will play on loop, made by Art Media Studio, illustrating the phases of the intervention, giving visitors the chance to see what goes on behind the scenes of a restoration and to, in a way, offer a visual explanation as to why the Chapel, priceless as a place of art and faith, will not be open to the public.

 

The church of Santa Felicita has played an important role in Florence’s history: having designed the Vasari Corridor to run right past the Oltrarno church, a window was built in so that the Medici Grand Dukes could participate in mass without interacting with the public.

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