24 October 2008

A restored Raphael


Three separate undated photos show the restoration process of Italian artist Raphael’s 1506 oil-on-wood painting “Madonna of the Goldfinch,” which had been shattered into 17 pieces then nailed back together following a house collapse. After 10 painstaking years of work, the Italian Renaissance artwork is returning to the public. (Reuters/Opificio Delle Pietre Dure/Handout)
"The goldfinch is a symbol of Christ's future violent death. St. John offers the goldfinch to Christ in warning of his future."

What never ceases to amaze me is the enhanced brilliance and coloration of restored paintings, murals, tapestries etc. Those of us who grew up visiting old museums have a muddied view of how things looked in the distant past. But goldfinch = violent death?? Who is it that comes up with the meanings of symbols in paintings??

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