INTERVIEWS WITH THE CONSERVATION WORLD: ANNA BRONZONI CATELLANI
WHO IS THE MAN IN THE PORTRAIT DISCOVERED UNDER THE VAN GOGH PAINTING?
NEW DEVICES, NEW STUDIES, CONNECTING SCIENCE AND ART AT FLORENCE HERI-TECH
SOCIAL MEDIA REVOLUTION IN THE MUSEUMS
ART-TEST ON UPDAY NEWS!
JCHC: IT IS FAKE! ARTWORKS FORGERY LANDSCAPE
ANNA BRONZONI CATELLANI
Interviews with the art conservation world
Restorers have a beautiful job.
Not easy, but beautiful.
With us they certainly share passion for raw materials that translate into art.
And they know the matter, in ways that sometimes overlap, sometimes complement that of scholars or of diagnosticians.
Their point of view adds always something new
After training as a painting restorer in Italy, Anna moved to Sweden, where she graduated in art history and for many years became a reference point for the Scandinavian peninsula in the field of conservation of ancient and modern paintings.
She tells us how in recent years the interest in classical art has given way to modern antiques, i.e. paintings, sculptures, furniture and more, with a particular focus on objects from the 40s and the 50s. But this is not for her.
Who is the man in the portrait discovered under the Van Gogh painting?
When discoveries concern Vincent Van Gogh’s, news go fast around the world. And this time it was no exception.
The painting unveiled thanks to the radiographic campaign carried out on “Peasant’s Head”, preserved in the National Galleries of Scotland, is further proof of canvas reuse by Van Gogh, a practice repeatedly followed by the artist, who, as we all know, also experienced periods of great economic hardship.
Van Gogh has self-portrayed himself countless times, at least 25 times. Of those portraits, the ones in which he paints himself with a hat are 9, but only a few can be said to be similar to the one revealed by the X-ray.
However, there is a detail that aroused our attention in observing the image revealed by the X-rays. In comparison with the painter’s known self-portraits, we noticed how around his neck he has a knotted handkerchief whose tails are left free. None of all the other paintings with a similar subject have a such a detail, while something similar is found in a portrait published in “Vincent Van Gogh: the lost Arles sketchbook”, a publication that contains all drawings found in a notebook a few years ago. To date, the research to understand the authorship of these drawings has not yet been completed, but certainly in this “corpus” we find a face, considered a self-portrait, with a handkerchief around the neck with “free tails”.
New devices, new studies, connecting science and art at Florence Heri-Tech
What are the latest findings for an optimal removal of black crusts on stone surfaces? What new technique can be used to analyze plastic materials? How to investigate in a non-destructive and safe way the inside of a structure? How to deal with the study and restoration of a stained glass window?
Science evolves, research advances, and to obtain ever better results there is nothing more valuable than sharing knowledge. To find out about the latest research in the field of art diagnostics and the most interesting case studies, it was extremely useful to attend the Florence Heri-Tech Conference, now in its third edition, sponsored by the University of Florence and co-organized by the Department of Industrial Engineering. A conference that was part of the 2022 edition of the Art and Restoration Exhibition.
The Scientific Technical Committee of the Conference, coordinated by the General Chairs, Prof. Eng. Rocco Furferi, Prof. Eng. Lapo Governi, Dr. Eng. Anna Pelagotti, Prof. Eng. Yary Volpe, Dr. Kate Saymour, Prof. Rodorico Giorgi, selected as best article of the conference "Microwave imaging applied to noninvasive diagnostic of Cultural Heritage artworks", by E. Proietti, G. Capoccia, R. Marcelli, G. M. Sardi, B. Caponera, of the CNR - Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems in collaboration with the VA-VE Institute, both in Rome. A device which promise to offer a new and better way to look inside the art objects.
It was inevitable that the acceleration of digital communication, social sharing, virtual presence, legacy of the pandemic, would shift the focus on the online activities of museums, be them large, medium or small (the classification is exclusively related the number of works exhibited). Someone stood by, someone took the opportunity to refine the dusty connotation associated with museums.
But their collection is not the protagonist of their presence on social networks. What we have noticed is their desire to conquer visitors using new topics, e.g. showing how is life inside a gallery.
I.e. what those who work there do and think daily, what activities are carried out there, the improvements that are made to the exhibition, the events that take place inside the museum and that perhaps have a direct reference to what is happening in their territory at that precise moment.
The Pinacoteca di Siena , a true treasure trove of Sienese and Tuscan painters of the high epoch, has been snubbed for many years by the large tourist flows that stopped at the nearby Piazza del Campo and the Duomo. In recent years it has seen a succession of directors only to be led, since last March 28 by Axel Hèmery
A few days ago we were contacted by the journalist Gaia Bonomelli writing for the upday magazine who, teased by the latest findings on Van Gogh, wanted to dedicate an article to some of the many discoveries obtained thanks to the diagnostic investigations on works of art. To make the article more complete with technical information, she wanted us to act as "consultants". At this link, (in Italian) you can find the article "Lovers, enemies and artists: what is hidden in the paintings of the most famous painters"
We hope you will like it as much as we do… .and again Happy summer, waiting for new discoveries!
Journal of Cultural Heritage Crime
JCHC - The Journal of Cultural Heritage Crimeis an online newspaper. The first in Italy, where the facts that daily see our cultural heritage threatened, violated and subject to crimes find space.
JCHC is service information, it promotes activities to combat crime and supports those who are engaged on a daily basis in the protection and enhancement of our cultural heritage.
The Art-Test newsletter will host an article from this innovative and prestigious magazine.
A very rich source for those who love our cultural heritage
IT IS FAKE! ARTWORKS FORGERY LANDSCAPE
The annual report on 2021 operational activity of the Carabinieri Command for the Protection of Cultural Heritage has been published a few days ago, a fundamental tool for understanding the extent of the phenomena affecting our common goods.
By analyzing the data provided by the Command, under the functional dependence of the Minister of Culture, it is possible to view an updated photograph on the illegal conduct against cultural heritage: in Italy, between 2011 and 2021, 1173 people were reported for clandestine excavation, 671 for illegal export and 2320 for counterfeiting of works of art, leading to the seizure of almost 69 thousand false objects which, if placed on the market, would have involved economic damage exceeding 5 billion euros, not to mention the offense itself to the culture and history. In fact, in 2021 alone, 197 people were reported for counterfeiting and 1748 objects were seized, maliciously imitating art and archeology.