Michelangelo’s Deposition is to undergo a six-month restoration financed by the Friends of Florence association. The sculpture is infamous for the episode in which Michelangelo attacked the work in a moment of frustration in an attempt to destroy it. 

 

 

 

Work will begin on November 23 and remain visible to the public at Florence’s Opera del Duomo Museum during the entirety of the restoration.

 

 

“The works in the new museum have undergone a vast restoration campaign when we opened to the public at the end of 2015,” explained Luca Bagnoli, president of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore. “Michelangelo’s Pietà, one of the most iconic masterpieces in the collection, was left to be restored. We decided to undertake this delicate project too, with the support of the Friends of Florence, to improve the interpretation of the sculpture for the thousands of visitors who choose our monuments every year.”

 

 

 

ph. Claudio Giovannini

 

 

 

The Pietà dell’Opera del Duomo (otherwise known as The Deposition, Bandini Pietà or The Lamentation over the Dead Christ) was carved from a massive block of white Carrara marble between 1547 and 1555, when Michelangelo was nearing his 80th birthday. Unlike the other two Pietà sculpted by the Renaissance master (the young Vatican work and the later Rondanini), the body of Christ is held not only by the Virgin Mary but also by Mary Magdalene and the elderly Nicodemus.

 

 

The restoration will respect the amber appearance and patina that has changed the colour of the sculpture over the centuries. Initial diagnostics aim to improve understanding of the work, which has been affected by the build-up of residue on the marble surface.

 

Restorer Paola Rosa will lead the expert team, based on her thirty years of experience returning masterpieces such as those by Michelangelo to their former glory.

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