Piero della Francesca’s The Resurrection Restoration Completed
British author Aldous Huxley deemed Piero della Francesca’s The Resurrection, “the greatest painting in the world,” and after centuries of damage, it has finally been restored to its original grandeur. It is now exhibited in Sansepolcro’s civic museum.
A Costly Fix
The restoration took place over three years thanks to the work done by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence, a highly respected restoration laboratory, and the offices of art superintendents of both Arezzo and Siena. Aldo Osti, the manager of Buitoni, also helped fund the artistic endeavor with a donation of 100,000 euros.
The Resurrection had survived earthquakes, an exhaust pipe, sodium hydroxide, and centuries, so it was necessary to fix the damages that were caused by age, and other physical encounters. This recent restoration has sharpened details and brightened up the colors. Now there is life back in Jesus’ eyes, and his pink cloak shines against the bright blue sky.
There are many mysteries that surround the painting: the year of creation is up for dispute but is currently set at 1470, its original location is unknown, and it is unclear if the sleeping soldier is actually the artist’s self-portrait. However, it is known that The Resurrection was a commissioned work that symbolically alluded to Sansepolcro’s own resurrection through Christ’s.
Della Francesca was born in c. 1420 in Sansepolcro where the painting now resides. He was an early renaissance artist, but later in life, he was better known for his other talents as a mathematician and a geometer. Throughout his art career, Piero della Francesca was inspired by great masters, such as Masaccio, and Donatello, to name a few. His style was defined by his use of color, and light, as well as his precise use of mathematics to create realistic works.