The comprehensive retreatment of a Renaissance terracotta altarpiece by Benedetto Buglioni

Rachel C. Sabino


This article describes the treatment of a monumental Renaissance glazed terracotta altarpiece that included disassembly of segments, cleaning, reassembly, aesthetic integration, and remounting. The primary focus of the article is the problematic nature of displaying these types of architectural objects in a museum context far removed from the original and the inevitable compromises that accompany the resultant choices. Some of the prosaic but often unexplored factors are considered, such as the working practices of the masons who originally installed these objects. The significance of these factors in developing a rationale for presenting the altarpiece with unfilled gaps between individual ceramic segments is a topic of special focus.

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2017 | Chicago | Volume 24