Bust of Michelangelo back on display
LIGHT MODE
DARK MODE
Get 1 year from 27.50 €

Digital and paper subscriptions available worldwide

Subscribe now

Bust of Michelangelo back on display

The sculpture dates to just after Michelangelo’s death in 1564.

bookmark
Thu 22 Feb 2018 4:00 PM

Daniele di Volterra’s bust of Michelangelo was recently restored by Nicola Salvioli.

The project was mostly conservative in nature, as the surfaces were shown to be covered in various substances, possibly due to a historic “cleaning” with acidic materials that would have eliminated the original patina and led to corrosions that were aggravated over time. The intervention was aimed at restoring the legibility of the work and searching for its original patina, and backed by a diagnostics campaign that collected information about the bust’s state of conservation. The balance between the bust and its pedestal was also re-established with the addition of a metal support placed on the back and by reinforcing the stone base so as to allow it to be secured to the wall.

The sculpture was made following Michelangelo’s death in 1564, when the Renaissance master’s nephew Leonardo Buonarroti commissioned Daniele da Volterra with the task. The realistic bust was copied many times, though the three originals made by Volterra have all been identified as such. One is currently housed in Florence’s Casa Buonarroti and the second at the Jacquemart-André Museum in Paris, while the third, the subject of the restoration, was first placed in the Horti Leonini and later in Ferdinand I de’ Medici’s collections. There, the bust’s provenance became difficult to determine because Ferdinand was the owner of two busts, one of which went to the Accademia and the other to the Bargello Museum. Salvioli’s restoration confirmed that the Accademia’s bust is the original made by Volterra.

Cecilie Hollberg, director of the Accademia Gallery, expressed that the restoration “restores, in all its glory, the true face of the great Renaissance master. The bust of Michelangelo, located at the entrance to the Tribuna, welcomes, quite perfectly, the public that come from all over the world to admire his masterpieces.”

Related articles

ART + CULTURE

Viareggio Carnevale celebrates 150 years

Viareggio Carnevale is a multimillion euro enterprise. We go behind the scenes to see the floats in the making

ART + CULTURE

Science sisters: Artemisia visits the National Institute of Optics

INO Director Raffaella Fontana tells us about the conservation of Artemisia's Allegory of Inclination, using 3D digital technology.

ART + CULTURE

Honoring heroes of the past

Learn the backstory of "Heroes, a True Story" based on courageous real-life events in Fiesole during the Second World War.

LIGHT MODE
DARK MODE