Three centuries lived dangerously
The restoration of the Madonna del Carmelo fra i Santi Simone Stock, Teresa D’Avila, Alberto di Vercelli, il profeta Elia e le anime del Purgatorio (1721-1727) by Giambattista Tiepolo has started, thanks to the generous support of the Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Over the course of time, La Madonna del Carmelo fra i Santi, one of the first works by Tiepolo, faced various mishaps. During its relocation to Paris, after having been commissioned by the confraternity of the Suffragio del Carmine, who had their own headquarters in the church of Sant’Apollinare in Venice, the work was packaged inappropriately and therefore caused the initial damages. Furthermore, in 1880, the painting seems divided into two, proven ironically by the work Vandalismo (Poveri Antichi!) by Giacomo Favretto, held by the Pinacoteca di Brera, where the canvas of Tiepolo is depicted as missing the scene of the Purgatory and shows a painter trying to retouch the figure of Santa Teresa. The work was followingly bought in the Parisian antique market, in 1925, by the Chiesa family, who, with the influence of Ettore Modigliani, donated the work that same year to the Pinacoteca di Brera, where the painting was only recomposed in 1948.
Even when considering the extensive pictorial reintegration carried out throughout the latest restoration in 1994 to fix the numerous gaps, the intervention will be an ongoing process with general revisions, as respect to its fascinating yet troubled history.
The excellence of this restoration isn’t solely composed in the facing of mishaps accumulated over time, but the intervention is placed, purposely to not move the canvas, in room XXXIV, to allow the visitors to have a “live” perspective on the restoration.
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Madonna del Carmelo fra i Santi