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Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History | Summer Conservation Series: Angela Cerasuolo
May 20, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Summer Conservation Series: Angela Cerasuolo
Dr. Angela Cerasuolo of the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte
The Transfiguration by Giovanni Bellini from the Capodimonte Museum: Remarks on technique and restoration
10 am US Central / 11 am US Eastern / h17.00 Italy
Presented in collaboration with the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte
The Capodimonte Transfiguration is widely considered by critics to be a crucial work in the oeuvre of Giovanni Bellini. Its restoration was an opportunity for in-depth study that concerned several different aspects: the technique of this long-lived and versatile artist, so important for the transformations he introduced; the history of the painting’s conservation, which opens insights into the practices of restoration and related problems; and the history of art understood in the broadest sense, in which this painting is of extraordinary importance in the path of Giovanni Bellini and of Venetian and Italian painting as a whole.
The vicissitudes of the conservation history of the Transfiguration are particularly significant in the history of conservation in Naples. Documents in the archives bear witness to the concern surrounding the painting, as well as to the often deleterious consequences of so much attention. We thus know of displacements during wars, recoveries, damages, and restoration treatments, sometimes accompanied by controversies and debates. The observations and scientific analysis carried out during restoration have deepened our knowledge of the process of execution and the state of conservation of the painting, clarifying some aspects of central importance regarding the autography of some painting layers that in the past had been questioned.
Long and complex investigations have added important insights into the materials and processes through which Bellini, with an amazing technical mastery, makes the prodigious scene tangible by immersing it in a natural landscape in which the figure of Christ radiates a lyrical and enveloping luminosity: nature and the supernatural are unified and as if suspended on the edge of an apparition.
About Angela Cerasuolo
Conservator-restorer and art historian, Angela Cerasuolo heads the Conservation Department of the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte, Naples. She has carried out many restorations on paintings belonging to the Capodimonte and the churches of Naples, including works by Bellini, Raphael, and Titian. Her practice of conservation has prompted study and research on the history and theory of restoration and on painting techniques. She has participated in international conferences and collaborated with many universities (Sorbonne Université, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Università degli Studi della Tuscia, Roma Tre, and Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli) for teaching, lectures, and research projects. She has carried out several studies on the techniques of painting by comparing the data of research in art history with those derived from diagnostic investigations and conservation, including a study titled Literature and Artistic Practice in Sixteenth-Century Italy, published in English by Brill.
Please note, this workshop will take place online. Participants only need to register once per household. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to participate in the workshop using Zoom. Download Zoom on your computer, tablet, or smartphone for free in advance for the best user experience.