A Choice of sensational, Renaissance wall hangings, recently reinstated to their original resplendence, have gone on show in Rome.The presidential building, the Palazzo del Quirinale, is showing ten, mass tapestries, portion of an original series of 20 commissioned by Cosimo de Medici in 1545. They are on show beside a number of other artworks, principally paintings, projected to evoke the particular and significance of the tapestries.
The wall hangings narrate key sequences from the life story of the Old Testament name of Joseph, son of Jacob, including being sold into slavery by his brothers and his time in Pharaohs prison. Cosimo de Medici licensed two of the most outstanding artists of his time to design the tapestries, the Mannerists Bronzino and Jacopo Carucci, called Pontormo.
The artists drawings were then transmuted into brilliant fabric works by two of the eras most celebrated Flemish tapestry-weavers, Nicolas Karcher and Jan Rost. Karcher had a workshop in Ferrara where he educated Rost, who subsequently based his own business in Florence, and whose characteristic signature of a roast on a spit, a pun on his name, can be seen in the Quirinale tapestries.
The hangings were made for the Sala dei Duecento in Florences Palazzo Vecchio, where ten stay today. The other half of the series was brought to Rome in 1882, becoming the most older, core works in Palazzo del Quirinales 260-strong collection of tapestries, viewed one of the most honored in the world.
The Quirinale was a working palace when the tapestries first arrived here, explicated Loretta Dolcini, the expos co-curator. They were accordingly turned frequently and used as ornamentation for a lot of different official ceremonies. The four richest of the wall hangings proceed to play that role today, taking it in turn to beautify the Sala del Bronzino, which is utilized for meetings between the Italian president and other chiefs of state.
While the tapestries architects would plausibly be captivated their artworks have boasted conspicuously on so many state functions over the tens, the perpetual caring, merged with their great age, has taken its price. As a result, a major refurbishment project was launched in 1984 to give back the hangings to their original resplendence and protect them from further damage.
The first stage of the initiative revolved around the tapestries still in Florence, after which refinishers began working on those in Rome. A new workshop was set up inside the Quirinale in order to minimize further damage from movement, joining Italys leading cloth experts and art restorers.
Restorers began by cleaning the material, polishing off serious atmospherical particles from the fragile wool and silk fibres. This was accompanied by a structural beefing up process.
The end effect is a range of brilliant, warm colours and glittery gold and silver thread imparting a solid sense of the tapestries original beauty. The hangings and the concomitant artworks can be visited free of charge at the Palazzo del Quirinale until June 30.