The Restoration of the Tabernacle of the Linaioli by Beato Angelico

The Restoration of the Tabernacle of the Linaioli by Beato Angelico. Restituzioni 2011 and ARPAI for a masterpiece. The initiative, which will be launched on 22 March 2011 – with inauguration on 21 March – and will terminate on 12 June, is centred on the display of the Tabernacle of the Linaioli by Beato Angelico, which returns to the museum after a lengthy and complex restoration carried out by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, with the financial support of A.R.P.A.I. and Banca Intesa San Paolo.

Before replacing the tabernacle in its place in the Pilgrims’ Hospice, within the marble frame designed by Lorenzo Ghiberti, it too restored by the Opificio, it will be displayed to the public in Michelozzo’s monumental Library, a site that is particularly suited to enhance the perspective qualities of the painting and its majestic composition, enabling a complete and close-up vision. The predella will be displayed separately, again with a view to permitting a better and closer appreciation.

Moreover, the public will also have the chance of conducting an interactive exploration of the entire work, via a multimedia station with touch-screen, thus enabling visitors to admire the splendid decorative details which are hard to appreciate with the naked eye.

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In an effort to conserve Italy's vast cultural and artistic heritage, every year Italy's largest bank, Banca Intesa Sanpaolo, chooses items from lists of works in urgent need of restoration, prepared by Italy's numerous culture and art superintendents. The annual Restituzioni, which each year visits a different Italian city, celebrates the art that has been ‘returned' to the Italian people. In the 22 years since the program was established, Banca Intesa Sanpaolo and partners have restored more than 600 of Italy's most fragile artworks and archeological artefacts.

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Another video will provide an introduction to the history of the Tabernacle and the building it was commissioned for, the headquarters of the Guild of second-hand clothes dealers, linen workers and tailors, situated in the ancient heart of Florence in the part that was destroyed in the course of the nineteenth-century demolitions. Historic references to the lost Guild headquarters will be materialised in the display of a number of documents on paper and images.


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The restoration of a very fragile tabernacle by Beato Angelico made at the height of his career, was done by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure and financed by Banca Intesa Sanpaolo and Arpai. The restorers recovered the incredible ‘nitore' of this exemplar of fifteenth-century art, which adorned the walls of the Florence residence of the Arte dei Rigattieri, Linaioli e Sarti. Multimedia aides chronicle the history of the work and its original location.

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The long awaited restoration of the Tabernacle of the Linaioli, a work by Beato Angelico, is displayed in Florence as part of the “Restituzioni 2011” exhibition event which makes it possible for the public throughout Italy to view restored masterpieces – the show, in fact, makes a first stop in Florence before moving on to other cities.

beato_angelico_tabernacolo The event is divided between two separate locations, where the most important, having the greatest number of masterpieces, is at the Pitti Palace, in the Sala Bianca of the Palatine Gallery: it contains more than eighty works from antiquity to the Neoclassical period, gathered from all over Italy, which have been restored and therefore “restituted” to the public.

The works range from sculpture to ancient vases, from bas-reliefs to tapestries.

The exhibit at the Museum of San Marco is, instead, monothematic: here you can admire Beato Angelico's work, the Tabernacle of the Linaioli, in all its splendour; because of its fragility it could not be moved, therefore, it is hosted amidst the harmonious architecture of the Museum's Library, together with fabrics, documents on paper and images.

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The restoration of a very fragile tabernacle by Beato Angelico made at the height of his career, was done by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure and financed by Banca Intesa Sanpaolo and Arpai.

The restorers recovered the incredible ‘nitore' of this exemplar of fifteenth-century art, which adorned the walls of the Florence residence of the Arte dei Rigattieri, Linaioli e Sarti. Multimedia aides chronicle the history of the work and its original location.