Capponi Chapel and Pontormo’s Deposition from the Cross Restored Thanks to the Generosity of the Friends of Florence

Restoration of the Capponi Chapel and of Pontormo’s panel painting depicting the Deposition from the Cross, both situated in the church of Santa Felicita in Florence, got under way in March 2017. The restoration, which is still ongoing, was made possible thanks to the generosity of the not-for-profit Friends of Florence Foundation and, in particular, to a donation from Kathe and John Dyson. The comprehensive restoration project, approved by the Soprintendenza Archeologia Belle Arti e Paesaggio per la Città Metropolitana di Firenze e le province di Pistoia e Prato, has been entrusted to the restorer Daniele Rossi and is being closely monitored by Daniele Rapino, the Soprintendenza officer with responsibility for the Santo Spirito neighbourhood. Pontormo’s Deposition is going to be displayed in the Palazzo Strozzi exhibition on the Cinquecento in Florence, which is due to run from 21 September 2017 to 21 January 2018.

“When we are involved in a restoration project of such major importance, we are always very happy because it is not just an opportunity to safeguard Florence’s cultural heritage of worldwide renown and thus to continue in the pursuit of our mission, it is also a moment of intense growth for us personally, for all those taking part in the project and for the general public, because the restoration invariably reveals parts of the object’s history of which no one was previously aware,” stressed Simonetta Brandolini d’Adda, President of the Friends of Florence Foundation, adding: “That is certainly the case in this instance, because the chapel’s comprehensive restoration concerns all of the works in it, ranging from the commemorative plaques, the woodwork, the deteriorating plasterwork, the stone artefacts and the wall decorations to the detached fresoes and the Deposition by Pontormo. This latter work is due to be displayed at an exhibition in Palazzo Strozzi in September, thus testifying to, and disseminating knowledge of, our restoration of the Capponi Chapel in its entirety. On behalf of the Foundation I would like to thank all those who are working on the project and I truly hope that our participation has helped to further the study of this wonderful chapel.”

“Thanks to the Friends of Florence Foundation’s generosity, we are restoring one of the most symbolic sites of the Florentine Renaissance”, explained Daniele Rapino, the official with responsibility for the Santo Spirito neighbourhood. “Before proceeding with any kind of restoration, the conservation issues concerning the complex as a whole and the numerous artefacts in it will be meticulously analysed through in-dept yet non-invasive diagnostic and instrument-based inspection. Thus each operation will be designed to eliminate the causes jeopardising the artworks’ conservation in a context of the utmost respect for the site’s history and for the artistic and reparatory stratifications that have built up over time. This will also provide us with an opportunity to deepen our knowledge both of Brunelleschi’s architecture and of the techniques and materials that Pontormo used to create his masterpieces. At the same time, we will have a chance to explore, and possibly even to rediscover, parts of the chapel’s decoration that have been whitewashed over in the past. Thanks to the Fondazione Strozzi, the Capponi Chapel will also be receiving a new lighting system that will add enormously to visitors’ experience of this site of such intense artistic and religious value.”

“Pontormo’s Santa Felicita Deposition is an absolute masterpiece in the history of art and is going to be one of the most important works loaned to Palazzo Strozzi for its Cinquecento in Florence exhibition” explained Arturo Galansino, Director General of the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi. “The Friends of Florence’s outstanding contribution to its restoration, with the crucial cooperation of the Soprintendenza Belle Arti e Archeologia di Firenze, Prato e Pistoia, will restore the painting to its pristine splendour while at the same time allowing Palazzo Strozzi’s visitors to admire it in the context of a unique exhibition. It is opportunities like this that point up the importance of the kind of synergy between the public and private sectors of which the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi has become an example, indeed a role model, at the national level”.

Elisa Bonini – Friends of Florence: +39 333.672.9563
Lavinia Rinaldi – Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi: + 39 055.391.7122
Antonella Fiori +39 347.252.6982