Arezzo, visits to restoration site of Piero della Francesca frescoes begin

A unique opportunity to see a masterpiece by Piero della Francesca up close: in the church of San Francesco in Arezzo, kick off visits to the restoration site of the Legend of the True Cross, the extraordinary cycle of wall paintings in the Bacci Chapel.

Visits to the restoration site of Piero della Francesca’s Legend of the True Cross , the celebrated cycle of frescoes, a Renaissance masterpiece that decorates the Bacci Chapel in the church of San Francesco in Arezzo, are now underway. From January 27 to March 12, the All’altezza di Piero initiative kicks off, a program of extraordinary visits to the maintenance site of the cycle of wall paintings.

The work will undergo maintenance and conservation overhaul by the Regional Directorate of the Museums of Tuscany, which has decided to set up an accessible scaffold that will offer small groups of visitors the exceptional opportunity to admire the cycle of wall paintings from a completely new perspective. Together with the Fondazione Arezzo Intour, which manages the museum services of Arezzo’s state museums, special tours have been organized that will last about an hour and can be booked at, at the link

The Legend of the True Cross, created by the artist in a period between 1452 and 1466, presents a series of episodes from the Legenda Aurea of the Dominican friar Jacopo da Varagine, a collection of lives of saints and explanations of liturgical feasts written beginning in the 1460s and circulated with great success throughout the Middle Ages. The scenes, arranged in three levels on the walls of the Bacci Chapel, tell the story of the Cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified, starting with the birth of the tree from which the wood with which it was made came. The episodes depicted by Piero are not connected according to chronological succession but by formal and symbolic relationships and are characterized by a careful perspective vision.

Theconservation maintenance and overhaul intervention (previously carried out in 2016), includes the removal of the substantial amounts of dust and atmospheric particulate matter deposited on the painted surfaces and the simultaneous verification of the state of conservation of the pictorial film and plasters, in order to avoid the emergence or progression of any new phenomena of degradation (lifting, detachment, sulfation, etc.) that could put the conservation of the paintings at serious risk. The worksite will also include the restoration of the large painted Cross, dating from the eighth to ninth decade of the 13th century and attributed to a Umbrian painter known conventionally as the Master of St. Francis, and of the stained-glass mullioned window, with the provision of a newly designed external counter-window.

The innovative provisional structure that also provides safe access at height for visitors is Layher’s 1974 patented scaffolding, the Allround system. This system ensures maximum visibility of the works being worked on, while also providing safe support for the work on the glazing. Thanks to its features, painted surfaces are preserved from holes, eliminating the need for anchoring systems.

Arezzo, visits to restoration site of Piero della Francesca frescoes begin
Arezzo, visits to restoration site of Piero della Francesca frescoes begin

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