Verrocchio sculpture restored

Putto with Dolphin cleaning financed by Friends of Florence

Editorial Staff
January 25, 2019 - 17:30

Ahead of Palazzo Strozzi’s spring exhibition Verrocchio, Master of Leonardo, running from March 9 to July 14, Andrea del Verrocchio’s Putto with Dolphin is being restored thanks to funding by the non-profit Friends of Florence. The restoration is the first scientific conservation survey ever carried out on the bronze sculpture, today housed in Palazzo Vecchio, despite being brought into the museum over 60 years ago.



Ph. Antonio Quattrone



The project involves several phases, as initial analyses determined that the statue’s state of degradation laid beyond the surface. In addition to being covered in residual materials resulting from previous maintenance efforts, some of which involved aggressive techniques and substances, calcium build-up and traces left behind by water were also found on the sculpture, due to the artwork having been used as a fountain decoration. By removing these outer residues, the restorers were able to determine the right solutions for treating the corrosion found on the bronze piece. The final phase will include a light treatment to harmonize the colour of the surface and the application of substances that will protect the bronze from further deterioration. Throughout the restoration, research and photographic campaigns are also being conducted in order to allow for a more in-depth study of the artwork, and video is being taken of the process to document the various phases of the project and its effects.



Putto with Dolphin depicts a winged child holding a writhing fish and is one of the most renowned by Andrea del Verrocchio. Commissioned by Lorenzo de’ Medici around 1470 to adorn his Careggi villa, it was moved to Palazzo Vecchio by Cosimo I in 1557 to sit atop the marble and porphyry fountain in the main courtyard.

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