Restoration of the fresco cycle
by PIERO DELLA FRANCESCA

Among the big restoration projects undertaken in the last decade of the twentieth century, the one involving Piero della Francesca's legend of the True Cross in Arezzo was one of the most complex. It was a necessity to carry out this project because at he start of the 1980s there was such a serious, progressive deterioration that the painted plaster was bound to disintegrate, and be irrevocably lost. The project started with a wide-ranging and in-depth analysis. Exhaustive research was needed to gather all the documentary information about the history of the basilica and the great pictorial cycle. The study included the painstaking analysis, centimetre by centimetre, of the painted surfaces using all scientific instruments today available. Of great importance were the analysis and monitoring the microclimate inside the chapel.

After the preliminary studies carried out in 1985-90, the restoration of the frescoes began in 1991 and was completed in 2000. As a result of the restoration, the frescoes were returned to their original splendour.

The result of the restoration is illustrated by comparing a few details of the frescoes in the state after and before the restoration.

Detailed description of the restoration project and its results can be find in the book "Piero della Francesca - The Legend of the True Cross in the Church of San Francesco in Arezzo," Edited by Anna Maria Maetzke and Carlo Bertelli, Skira Editore, Milan, 2001.


Preview Picture Data Info
Scene after and before restoration
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Fresco
San Francesco, Arezzo


A detail after and before restoration
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Fresco
San Francesco, Arezzo


Scene after and before restoration
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Fresco
San Francesco, Arezzo


A detail after and before restoration
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Fresco
San Francesco, Arezzo



Legend of the True Cross
1. Death of Adam
2. Procession of the Queen of Sheba; Meeting between the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon
3. Burial of the Holy Wood
4. Vision of Constantine
5. Constantine's Victory over Maxentius
6. Torture of the Jew
7. Finding and Recognition of the True Cross
8. Battle between Heraclius and Chosroes
9. Exaltation of the Cross
Annunciation
Other paintings in the Cappella Maggiore
Restoration of the fresco cycle
Main page of the fresco cycle



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