The first discovery dates back to last summer, during the first steps of the restoration: the inscription in human figures has remained hidden for centuries, “Titianus pinxit MDXX” (artist’s signature and date of delivery of work) visible in the lower right. And yesterday evening, April 28, the Annunciation of Titian, a precious heritage of Treviso Cathedral, was revealed in all its rediscovered beauty.
Many people, art lovers, citizens of Treviso, not just civil and military authorities, have given themselves a “space of beauty that is renewed”, as defined by Don Paolo Barbisan, Director of the Diocesan Office for Cultural Heritage. The restoration work was presented by Luca Magoli, art historian for the censorship of antiquities, fine arts and landscapes for the metropolitan area of Venice and the provinces of Belluno, Padua and Treviso, restorers Francesca Valescini, Roberto Saccoman and Alberto Nardi, Vice-President of the organization “Save Venice” that funded the work.
Majuli, who conveyed his regards from the superintendent, thanked the Archdiocese and the Venice Rescue Fund and emphasized that it “was a necessary restoration, leading to a substantial revision of the last – albeit correct – intervention carried out 40 years earlier. There were many concerns as it interfered with a uniform picture found in the All handbooks of art history. Significant results will allow a critical re-reading of one of Titian’s most important works. “
The works that started last year on June 3, 2021 and lasted nearly a year with some slowdown moments, also due to the pandemic, involved a team of four restorers and with the support of the “Save Venice” organization, and in particular through the generous contribution by Christopher Todd Page of a total amount amount of 69,000 euros. Save Venice is an American non-profit organization, dedicated for more than 50 years to the preservation and restoration of Venice’s artwork and architecture, which has also transformed its outlook and commitment on the mainland since last year, and in particular in Treviso. The work from 1520 is preserved in the Malerello chapel of Treviso Cathedral, where the restoration work was carried out, so that this year visitors were able to observe the work of professionals from a “window” that opens onto the construction site.
“This intervention – recalling Don Paolo Barbisan – brings wonderful news to working knowledge and marks the beginning of the necessary strengthening of the cathedral church, giving the harmonious dialogue between Lombard architecture and the art of Titian and Pordenone rise to one of the most exciting places in the city.” The Mayor of Treviso, Mario Conte, thanked those who worked on the restoration and those committed to promoting and making known the city’s treasures, such as the volunteers of the “Open Churches”, noting the importance of sharing the path and purpose.
Nardi noted the numerous interventions of the ongoing “Save Venice”, including the Assumption, also by Titian, in the Frari Basilica in Venice, and others in the Scuola Grande di San Rocco or the Basilica of Torcello, and the commitment to promoting painters who worked in Venice, such as Giulia Llama and Rosalba Carrera.
Valescini restores the part depicted, and Roberto Sacuman for the wooden support, illustrates the situation at the time he took up the work and the subsequent steps, from removing the repainting done over the centuries, to removing the altered paint and restoring torn parts and cracks up to work on the containment structure.
The bulldozer presents itself today with an unusual brightness, rich colors and bright shades that “modify” its space. Moreover, modern technologies made it possible to “read” the drawing, which “everything is by Titian” – said Valescini – and to entrust the work with certainty to Cadore. It was believed, in fact, that the Annunciation could have been partly by the hand of the master and the rest to be the result of assistance, including that of the disciple Paris Bordon of Treviso.
At the end of the interventions, the unveiling of the work and the prayer of blessing of Bishop Michel Tomasi, preceded by a reflection on the Annunciation. Citing the famous thirty-third canto of Dante’s Garden, where he addresses the poet Mary, the bishop asserted that the ordained scene is “the moment in which all this arose, which we can think of with the gaze of Titian: the central moment in all scriptures. The centerpiece of the history of salvation, where it became Daughter of Zion, the Virgin, mother of the Savior, mother of his God.She meditates on a divine glimpse into the inexhaustible depth and novelty in human history, the model of all hope towards a renewed life, despite difficulties and burdens.Life in its daily and often narrow texture always opens once From the perspective of the faith of the disciples of Christ, in those who profess to be children of God and accept Mary as a gift, the angel’s proposal to Mary is the same that the Word offers to each of them, and this represents this moment , that every time it is celebrated in the liturgy, in this and in all the churches, what is experienced when existence is read as “yes” in connection with the calling of meaning and fullness. We also, when we say yes “perceive the unthinkable, and every story in The gospel is waiting to become a body in us” (S. Fausti)”.