New Process Finds Masterworks in Florence Chapel
Using ultraviolet light, a team of researchers from the Opificio delle Pietre Dure (literally "Factory of Hard Stones"), a renowned Florentine art restoration firm, saw details of Giotto paintings in the Peruzzi Chapel, which had been severely damaged by whitewashing centuries ago.
"We have uncovered a secret Giotto," Isabella Lapi Ballerini, head of Pietre Dure, told Reuters.
Completed in 1320, the a secco paintings (like frescoes but painted on dry plaster rather than wet) depict scenes from the lives of John the Baptist and John the Evangelist.
Unfortunately, the vivid detail ultraviolet light draws out will likely never avail itself to public viewing. The light would only further damage the paintings in extended usage.
There is hope that a virtual rendering of the paintings might one day be realized, says Cecilia Frosinini, also of Pietre Dure, though the funding for such an expensive undertaking is not presently available.
Photo credit: Web Gallery of Art