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This Laboratory specialises in the study and preventive conservation of paintings on canvas, art collections and gallery collections, such as the paintings destined for the Hall of Diana in the Reggia di Venaria and the gallery of the Oratory of Compagnia di San Paolo.
Over the years the Laboratory has gained significant experience in the treatment of 16th and 17th century Venetian painting, through numerous restoration works on paintings by Tintoretto, Veronese, Bassano and Palma the Younger.
In recent years the Laboratory has had the opportunity to consolidate its experience in large canvases, in particular the monumental Last Supper by Giulio Cesare Procaccini, in the Basilica of Santissima Annunziata del Vastato in Genoa, which required an articulate and complex restoration taking almost three years.
No less significant are the Laboratory’s works on polyptychs and panel paintings, which gave the laboratory the opportunity to specialise in technical-scientific studies of early 16th century Piedmontese painting, through restoration on works by Defendente Ferrari and Gerolamo Giovenone.
The large dimensions (675x335x15 cm) of the work that is part of the art collections of Villa San Remigio (Verbania) led to an appropriate and congenial management of the spaces of the Tele e Tavole Laboratory. The painting on canvas by Jacopo Negretti known as Palma il Giovane (Venice 1544-1628) depicting the Battle of Lepanto, from the second half of the 16th century, has in fact become an interesting challenge both in terms of knowledge and restoration.
The work has come down to us considerably reduced in height and strongly compromised in terms of the pictorial surface. The different phases of the intervention, which are being concluded, concerned not only the cleaning of the entire surface with consequent consolidation, but also a new tensioning, the supply of a more appropriate support structure to which a capillary chromatic integration was added. has returned all the characteristics and multiple varieties, crediting the Venetian painter as a true "master of color".
The large scale of the work, consisting of around 40 square metres of painted surface, and the complexity of its restoration were an extraordinary opportunity for the canvas laboratory: in addition to the Centro’s nine restorers, four former students from the Degree Course were involved. The work had been previously studied, and the restoration itself started with two theses primarily addressing problems related to the support medium and cleaning methods.
The painting had been urgently removed from the counter-façade of the Genoese church because the canvas lining had begun to detach, with the risk of serious damage to the work: it arrived at the Centro in 2014 and left the laboratories in late 2017 for presentation at the exhibition “L’ultimo Caravaggio. Eredi e nuovi Maestri” at the Gallerie d’Italia in Milan.
The restoration of the two panels depicting Sebastiano Ferrero and his children began as part of a thesis and was completed for the exhibition on the Renaissance in Biella (Biella: Museo del Territorio Biellese, Palazzo Ferrero and Palazzo La Marmora).
Originally the two works, consisting of the removable side panels, were to be coupled with a central panel, identified in the faithful copy of Leonardo da Vinci's Virgin of the Rocks kept in London and today at the Museo del Territorio Biellese. The scientific laboratory provided in-depth diagnostic support throughout the activities.
As part of the study and restoration project on this Piedmontese Renaissance panel, financed by the Compagnia di San Paolo, the Centro had the chance to work on two polyptychs and a portella painted front and back by Defendente Ferrari and Gerolamo Giovenone, kept in the church of Santi Giovanni Battista and Pietro in Avigliana, which were displayed after the restoration at an exhibition in the Diocesan Museum of Turin in 2017.
Subsequently, the project works concentrated on the Madonna and Child between the two martyr saints, an early panel by Defendente himself from the Collegiate of Carmagnola, but kept in the archives of Palazzo Madama in Turin since the mid-20th century, undergoing restoration.
The brochure of the exhibition is available here