Summer newsletter!
Filippino Lippi, Pala Nerli, Chiesa di Santo Spirito, Firenze


The Franceschini decree is now law in Italy. An updated and improved version, intending to safeguard Italian heritage and boost tourism, leveraging on private investments.

For each donor, 65% of the contributed amount will be translated in a tax credit. The credit will be recognized also to who donates to concessionaires and successful tenderers of public competitions for maintaining, protecting and restoring artworks.

Everything will go public: the Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage will publish on a web portal all information related to donations and woks done, while beneficiaries will have to state the amount of public money received and how it has been used. A win-win situation given the visibility that great art will always insure.

More effort is envisaged to be devoted to Pompeii and new jobs in the Cultural field. The new initiative also foresees every year an Italian Cultural capital, improved touristic districts and new rules on tax free shopping.

More to be found here:


Among the initiatives for the Italian Semester of Presidency of the European Union (1st July- 31st Dec 2014), the exposition “Ars Narrandi in the Gothic Age of Europe” (9/11 2014 – 18/1 2015) will enchant visitors at the BOZAR (Centre for Fine Arts) of Bruxelles.

The collaboration between Pinacoteca di Siena and the Musée des Beaux-Artes di Rouen will present more than 60 artworks of Sienese painters working in XIII- XV century period.

A fascinating route through the stylistic evolution from the Byzantine stateliness to new spatial concepts, to unusual and vivid colors which influenced also other Italian and European schools when Italy and Siena in particular hosted the most daring modernity.

The exposition icon is the splendid Madonna dell’Umiltà by Giovanni di Paolo (in the picture), which together with other 30 artworks lend to the Belgian exposition belong to the group of paintings of the Pinacoteca of Siena which Art-Test analyzed and will be included in the 100 works database, already announced in one of our previous newsletter.

Further reading:


The diagnostic campaign performed on the “Annunciation” of Santi di Tito in the Carmine Church in Pisa lead to an unexpected discovery and to new insights, crucial for dating the painting.

On top of the XRF analyses planned in order to achieved data on the materials present on the painting, and help defining the best treatments thereafter, Art-Test added a scanning InGaAs infrared refectography, to visualize the underdrawing. A surprising detail was then revealed of the preparatory sketch of the “lantern” of the Cathedral’s dome, not visible to the naked eye. As visible in the above picture, on the right side of the building appears a sort of crane.

But why there was a crane on the top of the Dome? This is a recovered memory of a very specific moment in history, which was hidden already when the painter moved from the underdrawing to the paint layers.

It is recorded that in 1601 a lighting stroke the “Cupola“ severely damaging it, and even the Verrocchio’s bronze ball (atop the lantern) felt off, rolling in the Dome’s square, where a marble disk still reminds of this unfortunate event.

The presence of the crane detail may mean that the underdrawing could have been realized during the lantern restoration, started just after the event. Food for thought for historians, and appreciation for the achievement of our diagnostics tools, as our analysis brought new insight on the period and methods of executions of the painting but also on history of building technique.

A broader publication is due to come soon.



Wishing you cheerful and relaxing summer vacations, we remind you that Art-Test laboratories will be closed from the 11nth to the 17th August (included).

In the picture a detail from “Dossale di San Pietro di Guido da Graziano” exposed in the Pinacoteca di Siena. Good swimming!

A presto!

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