A lecture on the conservation project of Maestro Alberto’s 15th century Renaissance panel

A 15th century Renaissance panel painting currently on exhibit in ‘Reborn – an early Renaissance painting in focus’ at the National Museum of Archaeology will be the focus of a lecture discussing the conservation project undertaken. The panel will eventually be exhibited at MUŻA, the new national community art museum, a flagship project of Valletta 18 European Capital of Culture title.

The history of this piece remains elusive, and its author unknown except for his name, Maestro Alberto, included in the scenography of the episode depicted. The panel is certainly a fragment from a bigger structure, whose purpose and function remains, to date, ambiguous. The artist’s signature is featured prominently hanging in a cartouche right behind the kneeling Virgin Mary. The painting features three connected scenes.

The lecture that will be conducted by Heritage Malta’s conservator, David Frank Bugeja, highlights the extensive research led the conservators-restorers to the chosen decisions. The painting on a long wooden board, was in a critical condition when re-assessed in 2010 and the panel had to undergo an extensive restoration and conservation process.

Apart from providing better museum environmental conditions at MUŻA, it was decided to further preserve the painting by placing it inside a sealed container which discretely fits inside the painting’s outer wooden frame. This enclosure guarantees a very stable micro-environment which limits further deterioration from happening. Tests continued on a frequent basis over a long stretch of time and no fresh paint detachments have been noted to date.

The exhibition at the National Museum of Archaeology will remain open till the 31st of January 2017. The opening hour of ‘Reborn – an early Renaissance painting in focus’ are from 9.00am till 5.00pm, last admission at 4.30pm everyday.

The event will take place on Friday 20th January at the National Museum of Archaeology at 6.30pm. Attendance is free of charge.


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