‘Immaculate Conception’, ENEA and CNR together for the restoration of Bronzino’s altarpiece
The altarpiece, created between 1570 and 1572, has now returned to its place in the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace in Florence after the restoration work which brought to light new details about the last work by one of the most famous painters of Italian Mannerism.
ENEA’s laboratories conducted the identification of the pigments used, both in the original colours and in the layers of paint added during previous restoration work. The analysis allowed the researchers to reveal that, compared to his early work, Bronzino used a very small variety of pigments and common raw materials for this altarpiece. In addition, a large portion of the sky and the faces of the saints were repainted because of the poor state of preservation, with a result far from sixteenth-century painting.
“Also for this restoration work, our laboratory used X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis (XRF), a non-destructive analysis technique that allows a semi-quantitative evaluation of the chemical elements present on a pictorial surface”, explains Claudio Seccaroni, a researcher at ENEA Laboratory of Technologies for Sustainable Innovation.
Agnolo di Cosimo di Mariano, better known as Bronzino, born in Monticelli di Firenze in 1503, was a refined and excellent Florentine Mannerist painter and is known to have been one of the best portrait painters at the Court of the Medici in Late Renaissance Florence.