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You are in : Art & Culture > Conservation and Restorations projects
Updated : 25/07/2002

Gian Paolo Pace

(Venice, doc. from 1528 to 1560) Portrait of Giovanni dalle Bande NereGian Paolo Pace - Venice, documented from 1528 to 1560) Oil on canvas, 97 x 89 cm - Uffizi Gallery, Florence. The painting has an interesting history which it is worth relating, even briefly. In his 1568 edition of the "Lives of the Artists", Vasari wrote that Pietro Aretino had made a gift to Cosimo I of a portrait of his father, Giovanni dalle Bande Nere. The fearless military commander died in Mantua in 1526 and Aretino, who also happened to be in the city at the time, had a dead mask made from the body by Giulio Romano. It was to this mask that Aretino referred in a letter, written in November 1545, to Gian Paolo Pace, who painted the portrait. "Thanks to the miracles you are capable of achieving with your paintbrush, you have transfused living colour to the effigy, dully transfixed in the amber of death." He went on to express his pleasure in being able to present Cosimo with such a good image of his "immortal father". A month earlier, in fact, Aretino had written to Cosimo that the portrait of his father should have been painted by Titian but, as the artist already had other committments, the work was to be done by another artist who was, however, equally skilled. "I will send you a calm and fearsome image [] as if by the hand of that excellent artist". Now expertly restored, the shining armour complements Giovannis stern profile and the light illuminates his features, enlivening that expression which death has extinguished. Antonio Natali (Director of Renaissance and Mannerism Department Uffizi Gallery - Florence)
NOTE SUL RESTAURO
Nota di restauro Come operazione preliminare è stata migliorata la superficie pittorica, evitando così di sottoporre il dipinto a una nuova foderatura. Con la parziale stiratura della tela è stata eliminata la marcatura del telaio e poi sono state consolidate alcune crestine di colore sollevate, dietro la testa dell’effigiato e sulla sua barba. Si è quindi proceduto, con l’uso di un idoneo solvente, alla rimozione delle vecchie vernici e dei ritocchi alterati; l’accurata rimozione dei residui di vecchi fissativi e delle numerose macchie è stata condotta a bisturi. Grazie alla pulitura sono riapparse le finiture della corazza, ha ripreso vigore il bel drappo di lacca rossa che fa da campo al profilo forte di Giovanni de’ Medici e che ora si riverbera sull’armatura in riflessi rossastri. Anche la testa del condottiero, che ha ritrovato il nitore, si staglia con maggior definizione sullo sfondo. Il restauro è poi proseguito con la stuccatura delle poche lacune e dei fori dei chiodi che fissavano la tela al telaio originale: il dipinto era stato infatti, durante una foderatura, ampliato sino ai margini estremi del supporto, verisimilmente per adattarlo alla cornice attuale, del pari ridotta nel senso della larghezza di almeno venti centimetri (a giudicare dal decentramento della raffinata teoria di foglie lanceolate che decora la cornice medesima). L’intervento si è chiuso con l’integrazione delle lacune; dopodiché il dipinto, che era molto arido, è stato più volte verniciato. Nella stessa occasione è stata pulita la cornice, che è stata poi integrata nelle piccole lacune ed infine protetta con un sottile strato di cera e resina.
This painting was restored under the project BE PART OF HISTORY realised by VIVAHOTELS with the promotion of the ROMUALDO DEL BIANCO FOUNDATION.
The Project was born in 1994 in order to give a contribution to Florence Artistic Heritage with restoration of pieces of art trough the fundamental emotional involvement of the clients of VivaHotels.
By visiting the gallery where the masterpieces due to be restored is conserved, a VivaHotels guest contributes to the restoration without being involved in the direct cost of the sponsorship. Thus he becomes Patron of the Arts and his name will remain in the files of the Gallery forever.
TO VIEW ALL THE PAINTINGS AND KNOW MORE ABOUT THE INITIATIVES OF VIVAHOTELS click here.
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Uffizi Gallery - Florence
This painting was restored in the project BE PART OF HISTORY of VIVAHOTELS in co-operation with the ROMUALDO DEL BIANCO FOUNDATION.
Restorer: Maria Rita Signorini
 

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