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Pope Francis

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Restorers return splendor to Caravaggio's “The Resurrection of Lazarus”

2012-06-24

ANA MARCONE
Art Curator, "The Resurrection of Lazarus"
"It's an especially dark painting, that with time became even darker by the large amount of varnish that was on it. The problem was to remove the varnish and replace it with another more subtle layer.”

GISELLA CAPPONI
Chief Architect, Institute for Conservation and Restoration
"We analyzed the various substances that were on the painting, it had many old restorations with residues of old varnish. It gave the painting a yellow and opaque tone.”

After studying the varnish covering the painting, special solvents were applied in a laboratory to remove them.

The process was a great responsibility because these curators were in charge of restoring all of the painting's glory.

ANA MARCONE
Art Curator, "The Resurrection of Lazarus"
"It was particularly exciting because this representation is very dramatic. A painting that you keep looking at for six months and you establish a close relationship with it. So now the whole team will slow down a bit, which is normal.”

GISELLA CAPPONI
Chief Architect, Institute for Conservation and Restoration
"This painting is very emotional because the figure of Lazarus with one arm touches the ground and alludes to death. While the other points upwards and is almost an arm which binds to the figure of Christ.”

The work of these curators ensured that a masterpiece by the great Caravaggio didn't lose any of its artistic qualities despite the passage of four centuries.

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