Analysis of Baroque paintings of Artemisia Gentileschi from the collection of the Florentine Uffizi Gallery revealed written a sketch almost identical to another work of the artist, which recently purchased the London eye. Restorer from Italy believes that both works are based on one carton or sketch.
Cecilia Frosinini, who heads the Department of restoration of paintings in the state restoration workshop of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, said that in order to look under the main paint layer “of St. Catherine of Alexandria” (1618-1620), specialists use non-invasive techniques such as ultraviolet, infrared and x-ray analysis.
The picture shows a Saint looks up, and her head is crowned. At the Uffizi believe that in this manner Gentileschi combined a self-portrait and a portrait of Caterina, daughter of Grand Duke Ferdinand de ‘ Medici. On the image obtained by x-ray, instead of the crown on the head of Catherine see the turban, and her face turned to the viewer – exactly the same as on the “self-Portrait in the image of St. Catherine of Alexandria” (1615-1617), which the national gallery acquired in July 2018 for £3.6 million
According to representatives of the Uffizi Gallery, the study also found a “mysterious little person” to the left of the face of St. Catherine, “the story in no way connected with either the complete work, or his earlier version”.
The restorers have noted that the contours of the London portrait are almost identical with the contours of the underpainting of the painting from the Uffizi. “We believe that Gentileschi was cardboard or at least the preparatory drawing, which she used several times, varying the image, and making changes in the composition,” says Frosinini.
For a long time the name of Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653) was virtually erased from the history of art. Not so long ago, she again entered the race and has gained recognition as one of the first artists that enjoyed widespread popularity among the patrons of art of the XVII century.
Letizia Treves, curator of Italian, Spanish and French painting of the seventeenth century in London’s National gallery, said that her Museum has provided for mapping the contours of a self-portrait Gentileschi Uffizi Gallery and Museum “Wadsworth Atheneum” in the American Hartford (here is her “self Portrait with lute”, written approximately in the years 1615-1618; this half-length portrait, on which she also portrayed himself sitting face-to-viewer). According to Treves, the position of the hands in the painting from the National gallery coincides with podmalevka from the Uffizi, and the head – self-portrait, from “Wadsworth Atheneum”. “It became clear that these areas coincide with the accuracy to the millimeter, this means that Gentileschi used a special technique of transferring individual elements on the canvas,” says Treves.
She also reported that while at the London portrait and found no hidden images, the analysis showed that Gentileschi was copied drape of the dress and changed the shade cloth on the sleeve.
Ahead of the researchers. “Creative methods of Artemisia, the technical side of her art is studied much worse, than other artists, says Treves. – Any new discovery becomes a breakthrough.”