Following a spell of several months in the conservation laboratories of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, the Francesco di Giorgio Martini Abduction of Helen belonging to the Berenson Collection has returned to Villa I Tatti.
While in the Opificio, the painting underwent extensive surface cleaning to remove heavy layers of dirt, varnish, and soot. Thanks to the meticulous and subtle work of Elena Bartolozzi - an art conservator with previous experience working on the paintings of Francesco di Giorgio - the intricate detail and vibrant colors of this little fragmentary panel have returned to the surface. The cost of restoring the Francesco di Giorgio was fully funded by the I Tatti Fellows from years 2010 -2015, as part of a wider campaign to raise funds for the conservation of artworks in the Berenson Collection in honor of Lino Pertile and Anna Bensted.
Thanks to the generosity of a large number of donors, many more paintings from the collection are scheduled to receive conservation treatment over the coming months and years, and indeed work on some of the most urgent cases has already begun. We are grateful indeed to the many friends and scholars who contributed to the Art Conservation Fund in Honor of Lino Pertile and Anna Bensted.
Francesco di Giorgio's Abduction of Helen after treatment