Brancacci Chapel

Church of Santa Maria del Carmine

Construction site at the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine for the inspection of Masaccio, Masolino, and Filippino Lippi’s early Renaissance masterpieces depicting Biblical stories and chapters from the life of Saint Peter is now complete.

The Brancacci Chapel, a magnet for visitors for over five centuries, was last restored in the 1980s. The inspection conducted in November 2020 revealed some critical conservation issues. In January 2022, in cooperation with the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, the Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio per la Città Metropolitana di Firenze e le Province di Pistoia e Prato, and the National Research Council, the conservation team began monitoring the “health” of the Chapel.

The team conducted an in-depth diagnostic evaluation using the latest technologies and the renowned skill of local conservators. The noninvasive techniques made it possible to learn about and understand the artists’ techniques, the materials they used, and the alteration-deterioration phenomena.

The imaging campaign consisted of taking high-definition photographs under visible, raking, ultraviolet, and infrared light to identify areas with anomalies or problems that cannot be seen by the naked eye. The findings will be interpreted, thereby providing the basis for proper restoration and ongoing monitoring.

The Chapel was founded by the Brancacci family in the late 14th century. Felice Brancacci, a wealthy merchant, commissioned the frescoes with scenes from the life of Saint Peter in 1423. Masolino and Masaccio worked on the paintings together but when they left the city in 1427, the works remained unfinished.

The Brancacci were exiled in 1436 because of their anti-Medici stance. The friars had the portraits of all those with ties to family “deleted” and renamed the chapel for the Madonna del Popolo in 1450. Between 1481 and 1483, Filippino Lippi restored and painted missing scenes. Although the Chapel was damaged by a 1771 fire that devastated the interior of the church, the frescoes survived.

The Riccardi family acquired the Chapel in 1780, restoring the altar and floor. Neglected for centuries, the frescoes were dusted in 1904. The restorations done in the 1980s made it possible to retrieve the beautiful painted decorations.

Related articles – Can you also link to these pages:

Full Press Release

Loading Project Map...