Florence, Italy… The restoration of two early sculptures Michelangelo Buonarroti created when he was training in the Garden of San Marco in Florence—Madonna of the Stairs (1490) and Battle of the Centaurs (1491-1492)—was completed in March and the works have returned to public view. The project, approved by the Casa Buonarroti Foundation, was made possible thanks to a gift from Friends of Florence. The gift also enabled the refurbishment of the “Room of Marbles” where both works are displayed in Casa Buonarroti, a museum devoted to the Renaissance master that was once his home.
The restoration of the two bas-reliefs were presented at the fifth edition of the Friends of Florence Award Grant at the Salone dell’Arte e del Restauro in 2020. Daniela Manna and Marina Vincenti restored the works under the direction of Casa Buonarroti and supervision of Soprintendenza Archeologia Belle Arti e Paesaggio per la Città Metropolitana di Firenze e le Province di Pistoia e Prato.
Simonetta Brandolini d’Adda, president of the Friends of Florence, said, “We are extremely grateful to Patricia and Marshall Geller, who supported the refurbishment of the room and restoration of Battle of the Centaurs, and to the Maher family for their contribution to the Madonna of the Stairs project. We are delighted to have worked in partnership with Cristina Acidini, president of the Casa Buonarroti Foundation, and Alessandro Cecchi, the museum’s director. Thanks also to Jennifer Celani, area official of the Soprintendenza ABAP di Firenze, and restorers Daniela Manna and Marina Vincenti who worked in perfect harmony giving us not only the opportunity to preserve these masterpieces, but also to learn much more about them.”