Florence Cathedral: restoration on the Porta dei Cornacchini completed
LIGHT MODE
DARK MODE
Get 1 year from 27.50 €

Digital and paper subscriptions available worldwide

Subscribe now

Florence Cathedral: restoration on the Porta dei Cornacchini completed

Extensive traces of colour were found on the 1359-60 sculpture of the Madonna with Child and Adoring Angels.

bookmark
Tue 22 Nov 2022 4:44 PM

Restorations on the Porta dei Cornacchini at the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, which began in September 2021, are complete. The doorway, which can be found on the north side of the nave, and surrounding sculptures all underwent works including in-depth analysis, cleaning and protective treatments. The lion sculptures underwent more intense restoration as the marble was damaged, with interventions including the replacement of one lion’s head, which could not be preserved in situ, despite numerous attempts at consolidation being carried out.

During the restorative works on the sculptures, extensive traces of colour were found on the 1359-60 sculpture of the Madonna with Child and Adoring Angels, found directly above the door. This discovery confirms that the work was originally polychrome. While tiny marks of colour had previously been found on exterior sculptures adorning the cathedral, this is the first time that such extensive traces have been detected, with the evidence including damask decoration on the child’s garment, the painted eye of the virgin and a blue-green colour on the Virgin’s mantle.

Natural degradation and previous restoration interventions likely contributed to the loss of these colours. Investigations showed that there was a layer of brown oxalate in contact with the marble, with a layer of fluorosilicates above, likely applied during interventions in the 1950s. The brown layer was likely a protective layer and the decision was made to remove the fluorosilicates, but to leave the brown layer that likely contributed to the good state of conservation of the marble sculpture.

Related articles

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.

ART + CULTURE

Alfredo Pirri at Florence Opera House

Take a Sunday morning tour of Alfredo Pirri's art installation on the roof of Florence Opera House

ART + CULTURE

Magliabechiana Library reopens at the Uffizi

The Biblioteca Magliabechiana is open for free to academics on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

LIGHT MODE
DARK MODE