San Felice tabernacle restored to former glory

An obscured fresco sees the light again, thanks to Friends of Florence

Editorial Staff
January 22, 2020 - 15:49

Restoration work on the tabernacle in piazza San Felice has just been completed, thanks to funding from the Friends of Florence Foundation.



The restorations lasted two and half months and was promoted by the Amici dei Musei Fiorentini, through the Comitato Tabernacoli. The work was divided into two, with Bartolomeo Ciccone managing the fresco and Stefano Landi the stonework.



“This is the seventh tabernacle that Friends of Florence have restored over the years,” said Simonetta Brandolini d’Adda, President of Friends of Florence. “These are parts of our heritage that we cannot afford to lose.”



Detail from the Tabernacle in piazza San Felice



The tabernacle is built from pietra serena, which frames a fresco of the Annunciation. Indicative of late Mannerism in Florence, the fresco probably dates to the first decade of the seventeenth century, but its author is unknown. Maria Maugeri, local executive for Florence’s Soprintendenza Archeologia Belle Arti e Paesaggio, commented on the difficulties that it presented:



“At the beginning of restoration work,” she said, “we found ourselves confronted by an image rendered indecipherable by poor conservation and botched intervention. I personally didn’t think we could recover the fresco, but we took Bartolomeo Ciccone’s advice and, little by little, material was removed and a we got a clearer picture.”



The fresco had been repainted a number of times, but later accretions have now been removed to expose all surviving parts of the original, which Ciccone restored with a variety of techniques and paints. A new glass screen has been installed to protect the fresco from atmospheric variants and any potential acts of vandalism.

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Blessing Akajiaku

11 days and 2 hours and 29 minutes ago
Great job by the Friends of Florence. Keep spreading good