Last 1st of August we had the honor of being invited by Roma Experience to take part into the innovative “Restoring Caravaggio” tour in Rome, which allows visitors to get privileged access to a prestigious restoration laboratory where expert restorers concretely show their activities and tell about their stunning experience in restoring precious paintings, including Caravaggio’s masterpieces.
We’d like to share this one-of-a-kind experience with our readers, because we deem this as a unique opportunity to enrich their exploration of Rome, letting them to get in a more intimate and authentic contact with the living art soul of the Eternal City and the real people who contribute to preserve it.
The first half of the tour develops itself immersing the travelers in a thematic route across three churches in the historic center of Rome, where six paintings by the revolutionary Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (Milan?, 1571 – Porto Ercole?, 1610) can be extraordinarily appreciated in their original setting.
The second part of the tour gives the visitors an extraordinary access to the acclaimed restoration laboratory. The kind and learned restorers explain their scientific approach and working methods, aimed at respecting the artwork and guaranteeing its conservation for future generations.
After a preliminary analysis, carried out with scientific devices as their ultraviolet lamp, they proceed in removing the aged varnish usually applied also to protect the surface on the occasion of previous restoration works, because it prevents the right visual appreciation of the painting. Then the restoration of the colors takes place before the final application of the new layer of varnish.
Knowing that Caravaggio's paintings as the Madonna dei Pellegrini, Conversion of Saul and the Adoration of the Shepherds were restored in this laboratory is a true emotion. And we can't tell how it's exciting to assist to the practical demonstration of a cleaning proof example, practiced on a really ancient painting surface, and of the usage of restoration materials and techniques. For the first time, a visitor can experience all the aspects of art, seeing, touching and breathing it together with its guardian angels.
PS: All Milestone Rome’s opinions are and will always be genuine.