"Announcing Angel" 


Gaudenzio Ferrari


XVI Sec.


Tempera on panel. Dimensions: cm 155 x 75


Società di Incoraggiamento allo Studio del Disegno e di Conservazione delle Opere d'Arte in Valsesia - Onlus / Palazzo dei Musei - Pinacoteca di Varallo e Museo Calderini


Sacro Monte di Varallo

date and duration of the operation

2016 - 2019



The restoration of Gaudenzio Ferrari’s Angelo Annunciante was carried out by Open Care’s Conservation and Restoration Department within the ambit of the first edition of the Bando Lucida, launched in 2015.

The Bando Lucida, promoted by Open Care and the Factum Foundation, was established to offer organizations an integrated project of analysis, conservation and restoration of a work of considerable historic and artistic interest, thanks to the use of the 3D Lucida digital scanner.

Within the ambit of the first edition, the jury, consisting of Giorgio Bonsanti – previously Supervisor of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure and Professor of Restoration History and Methods at the Universities of Turin and Florence – the writer and essayist Francesco M. Cataluccio and Serena Romano, previously Professor of Medieval History of Art at the Lausanne University, identified as the winning work,  the Angelo Annunciante, proposed by the non-profit organization Società di Incoraggiamento allo Studio del Disegno e di Conservazione delle Opere d'Arte in Valsesia.


The video documentary about the restoration, produced by Open Care



The work was in such a condition of repainting and deterioration that suspicions were raised of it being a nineteenth century copy.  The painting arrived at the Open Care laboratories in a very precarious state due to the innumerable conservation initiatives to which it had been subjected. The wooden support required repair and the pictorial surface was covered by a thick layer of dark, oxidized paint. Following an extensive consolidation of the decorative layers, microscopic cleansing revealed underlying background colors that were completely different to those perceived by the naked eye and had not been identified by the investigations undertaken because the composition was perfectly overlaid. Following the removal of the extensive repaintings, a substantial pictorial layer of extraordinary color and luminosity emerged. Open Care’s restoration thus permitted the original painting to be brought to light and dispelled any doubts over the attribution of the work: a figurative work of great importance for the phases of Gaudenzio Ferrari’s development and maturity.

The work was subsequently displayed in the great exhibition Il Rinascimento di Gaudenzio Ferrari, at Palazzo dei Musei - Pinacoteca di Varallo, from 24 March to 16 September 2018.


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