Carpaneto Memorial, 1886

Restored winter 2016-2017. This restoration was undertaken independently with funding from an anonymous donor in collaboration with established experts in art history and conservation, and carried out in the spirit of supporting the restoration work of the American Friends of Italian Monumental Sculpture (AFIMS).

  • The Giacomo Carpaneto Monument by Giovanni Scanzi, 1886

    The Giacomo Carpaneto Monument by Giovanni Scanzi, 1886

    The Carpaneto Monument is a masterpiece of late 19th century Italian realistic sculpture.
  • The Giacomo Carpaneto Monument by Giovanni Scanzi, 1886

    The Giacomo Carpaneto Monument by Giovanni Scanzi, 1886

    The restored monument. Visit it in the Eastern Gallery (Porticato Inferiore a Levante) at Staglieno Cemetery in Genoa, Italy.
  • Before restoration

    Before restoration

    Before restoration, the thick layers of dirt had formed a black crust which threatened to erode and damage the surface of the marble.
  • The Giacomo Carpaneto Monument by Giovanni Scanzi, 1886

    The Giacomo Carpaneto Monument by Giovanni Scanzi, 1886

    After restoration, this masterpiece has come back to life.
  • Scaffolding the sculpture for restoration

    Scaffolding the sculpture for restoration

    The sculpture fills a niche approximately 16′ high and 10′ wide (5 x 3 meters). Custom scaffolding allowed the restorers access to every part of the art work.
  • The Giacomo Carpaneto Monument by Giovanni Scanzi, 1886

    The Giacomo Carpaneto Monument by Giovanni Scanzi, 1886

    Before restoration this neglected masterpiece was in frightful condition.
  • The Giacomo Carpaneto Monument by Giovanni Scanzi, 1886

    The Giacomo Carpaneto Monument by Giovanni Scanzi, 1886

    After completion of careful and loving restoration, the original glory of this magnificent marble sculpture has returned.
  • Application of the cleaning poultice.

    Application of the cleaning poultice.

    The cleaning was carried out with a cellulose poultice with carbonate of ammonia. Tests were undertaken to determine the length of application that was optimal to remove the accumulated black crust and restore the original surface of the marble.
  • Before and after cleaning the angel's foot

    Before and after cleaning the angel's foot

    The heavy accumulation of dirt, pollution, grease and black crust was painstakingly removed.
  • The Giacomo Carpaneto Monument by Giovanni Scanzi, 1886

    The Giacomo Carpaneto Monument by Giovanni Scanzi, 1886

    The upper mast was originally carved from a separate block of marble and attached to the sailboat. Old adhesive in the joint uniting the top of the mast to the sculpture was removed and the mast reattached with epoxy resin and a mixture of lime mortar and marble dust.
  • Before restoration

    Before restoration

    On the base are marble portraits of Signore and Signora Carpaneto. Her portrait had split, and the fallen half was discovered buried in the thick dirt inside the boat.
  • Repair of the portrait relief of Signora Carpaneto

    Repair of the portrait relief of Signora Carpaneto

    Part of the bas relief portrait of a woman had split off and was found inside the boat. It was reattached with epoxy resin and a stainless steel pin. Missing bronze letters were also recovered, cleaned and reattached.
  • Restoration of the metal elements

    Restoration of the metal elements

    The bronze elements were cleaned and treated to inhibit corrosion. The marble waves under the boat had been covered in such thick dirt that they weren’t even visible prior to restoration. With cleaning, the artist’s signature has reappeared, carved on the waves.
  • The Giacomo Carpaneto Monument by Giovanni Scanzi, 1886

    The Giacomo Carpaneto Monument by Giovanni Scanzi, 1886

    A detail view of the restored masterpiece.
  • The Giacomo Carpaneto Monument by Giovanni Scanzi, 1886

    The Giacomo Carpaneto Monument by Giovanni Scanzi, 1886

    Think of the “negative space”, the mass of stone that had to be carved away to define these shapes and forms. Starting from a solid block of marble, all the stone between the legs, around the sail and mast, and inside the boat had to be painstakingly cut away.
  • The Giacomo Carpaneto Monument by Giovanni Scanzi, 1886

    The Giacomo Carpaneto Monument by Giovanni Scanzi, 1886

    A carver spent weeks hunched over inside the boat just to carve the ropes and the inside texture of the sails.
  • The Giacomo Carpaneto Monument by Giovanni Scanzi, 1886

    The Giacomo Carpaneto Monument by Giovanni Scanzi, 1886

    Note the carved marble embroidery, the ornamental detailing of the rudder; every detail carved with absolute loving care.

Giovanni Scanzi’s 1886 masterpiece,”L’Angelo Nocchiero” (the Helmsman Angel) has been restored. This monument to Giacomo Carpaneto pushes marble to it’s limits to create a magnificent, dynamic work as the young angel struggles to control his sailboat and bring it safely to shore in a tremendous storm.

This sculpture expresses in marble the intense drama that Italian composers of the same era, Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi and Puccini, were expressing in music.

The sculpture had been neglected and abused, covered in a thick black crust of dirt and pollution, and subjected to graffiti and damage from water leaking through the ceiling and walls.

The cleaning was carried out with a cellulose poultice with carbonate of ammonia. Tests were undertaken to determine the length of application that was optimal to remove the accumulated black crust and restore the original surface of the marble.  The granite base had deteriorated significantly and was repaired, as were the bronze elements and a broken portrait relief on the base.

This restoration was undertaken independently with funding from an anonymous donor in collaboration with established experts in art history and conservation, and carried out in the spirit of supporting the restoration work of the American Friends of Italian Monumental Sculpture (AFIMS).

This work was carried out by Livia Pecchioli Conservazione e Restauro, Genova with technical direction by Emilia Bruzzo  and with the guidance of Grazia Badino, Art Historian, and the Soprintendenza Archeologia Belle Arti e Paesaggio per la Città Metropolitana di Genova e le Province di Imperia, La Spezia e Savona.

Intervento realizzato da Livia Pecchioli restauro e conservazione con la collaborazione di Carmelo Quiada e Jacopo Lendaro, con l’Alta Sorveglianza della Soprintendenza alle belle arti della Liguria. Finanziato da anonimo benefattore tramite Grazia Badino e con la direzione tecnica di Emilia Bruzzo.

 

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