Project Description

Madonna dello Zodiaco, Cosmè Tura, ninth decade of the 15th century ca.
Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice

Restoration of the painting Madonna dello Zodiaco, Cosmè Tura, ninth decade of the 15th century ca.

Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice

Project Director
Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice

Ditta Manoja, Rome

Maria Pia Bencini Bassani
Thomas C. Quick
Venetian Heritage

Start date
November 2022

End date
February 2023

41.824,00 €

Venetian Heritage is supporting the restoration of the Madonna Dello Zodiaco by Cosmè Tura, a leading figure of the Ferrarese painting movement of the 1400s.
The artwork, bought in 1896 by the Italian state for the Gallerie dell’Accademia, features an interesting inscription in the lower part which states “Sviglia el tuo figlio dolce madre pia/ per far infin felice l’alma mia” (Sweet pious mother wake your son up/ to finally fill my soul with contempt); this is an analogy between the infant Jesus’s awakening from his sleep and his future resurrection.
Other elements referable to the theme of death/resurrection are the bunch of grapes, recalling Christ’s blood and hence the Passion, and two goldfinches symbolizing the resurrection. The painting is named after the astronomical gold band displayed like an arch behind Mary, of which the signs of Aquarius, Pisces, Sagittarius, and Virgo are still distinguishable on the left.
The restoration will mainly focus on the wooden structure of the painting, which results strongly damaged by an unstable crackling that, with time, has caused a small portion of the pictorial film to fall. Once the canvas’s structural intervention is completed, the restoration will proceed to the painting surface’s cleaning and rehabilitation.