Two marble works by a young Michelangelo have been restored and returned to public view at Casa Buonarroti in via Ghibellina thanks to the American non-profit association Friends of Florence.
Restorers Daniela Manna and Marina Vincenti opted for non-invasive methods that enabled reconsideration of Michelangelo’s youthful art. “It is extraordinary to consider what Michelangelo achieved at such a young age using the smallest of tools for a small hand,” commented Manna at the press conference. Indeed, the detail in the marbles now shine through, from the tender protectiveness of the Madonna to the forcefulness of the battle scene.
“Inspecting Michelangelo Buonarroti’s marble statues up close is always a source of emotion, awe and enrichment,” commented Cristina Acidini, president of the Casa Buonarroti Foundation. “The restoration and critical reconsideration of Madonna della Scala and Battaglia dei Centauri, the two extraordinary reliefs sculpted by Michelangelo in his adolescent years in Lorenzo il Magnifico’s gardens at San Marco, where the elderly Bertoldo di Giovanni, Donatello’s last assistant, acted as his instructor, were made possible thanks to the generosity of the donors of the Friends of Florence association, which is headed up by Simonetta Brandolini d’Adda.”
“Supporting the restoration of Madonna della Scala and Battaglia dei Centauri, both works by a young Michelangelo, means continuing to preserve the artistic heritage of this extraordinary master,” explained Simonetta Brandolini d’Adda, president of Friends of Florence. “Following the restoration of the David, the Slaves, the River God and the Bandini Pietà, our foundation is delighted to continue the important work of safeguarding the legacy of Michelangelo with the institutions and restorers.”
Donations by Patricia and Marshall Geller, members of private residence club Palazzo Tornabuoni, and the Maher family ensured the restoration of both artworks and the revised first-floor room layout with new lighting and more in-depth informational panels.