During the restoration work on part of the facade of the Duomo Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiorewhich began in 2021, it was discovered the existence of some remains of polychromy in the sculptural ensemble which showed that, in the past, the images were infused with vivid colorsexplained those responsible for the work.
Once the surface dirt has been removed and treatment of the degradation of the statuesthe restorers managed to bring to light the colorful decoration of the cloak of the Child Jesus, the pupil of an eye of the Virgin and the blue-green and red colors of her cloak, as well as cream tones of the cape of the left angel.
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They also discovered that the marble sculpture group of the Virgin and Child with adoring angelswhich was created between 1359 and 1360 and which adorns the Gate of the Cornacchini of the Florentine cathedral, was the victim of a process of degradation caused by the passage of time and by different human interventions.
Until the beginning of the restoration work on the door, in September of last year, a large part of the surfaces of the marble sculpture group they were covered by several layers of materials, some of which were applied in the 1950s.
Likewise, during this intervention, the restorers managed to remove the superficial remains, which were covered the traces of color of the figureshowever the decision was made to maintain a brown protective layer, which helps keep marble in good condition.
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Although small samples of gold and blue paint had already been found in the past on other sculptures in the cathedral, this is the first time that such extensive traces of color have been found.
“In all probability, the Madonna with Child and adoring angels was not the only one of the polychrome sculptural decorations in the Florence Cathedral that now appears to be the color of white marble.”, they specified from the foundation in charge of the restoration in a statement.
“This makes us understand how in the past all the sculptures in the cathedral were polychrome, but with the passage of time, perhaps in the 19th or early 20th century, the polychromy was lost due to restorations that did not take conservation into account as we do. today”, the statement continues.
On the other hand, the others door carrara marble sculptureswhich were also affected by degradation over time, were restored with techniques such as laser, the application of reagents, solvents and biocides.
With information from the EFE Agency.