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Friday, June 1 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
04. (Wooden Artifacts) Investigating the Renaissance Marriage Chest: A Study of the Methods and Materials Used in the Construction of Two Florentine Cassoni from the Workshop of Paolo Uccello

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The Yale University Art Gallery has in its collection two rare examples of fifteenth-century cassoni from the workshop of Paolo Uccello (Florence, 1397-1475): a cassone front panel, depicting The Triumphal Entry of Titus and Vespasian into Rome (ca. 1430), and a complete cassone with painted panels depicting The Battle of the Amazons Before the Walls of Troy; and female allegories of Faith and Justice; with its original lid, which features a reclining female nude on the interior (ca. 1460). Initial investigations of the cassone and the cassone front panel indicated the need for in-depth technical research that would inform and support their restoration treatments. In 2016, technical examinations of both works were performed in preparation for the forthcoming conservation treatment of the painted panels. Through visual examination, infrared and ultraviolet photography, reflectance transformation imaging (RTI), micro x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, x-radiography and stereo radiography techniques, the materials and methods used to construct the cassone and the preparatory and paint layers techniques could be identified. These investigative techniques, which most importantly confirmed the presence of original 15th-century nails in all corners, show that the cassone has maintained its structural entity and essential dimensions despite several 19th-century additions. In addition to structural changes, these techniques have also informed several alterations made to the painted surfaces and have shed light on the overall conservation history of the cassone. Technical research of the cassone has helped to better understand cassone panel fragment, in terms of its preparatory and paint layers, conservation history, and dismemberment. Comparisons of these two works, each created at early and late periods in Uccello’s career, not only speak to the changes and consistencies in Paolo Uccello’s workshop(s), but also help to elucidate our understanding of other 15th-century cassone panels. The preliminary results of our technical investigation will be discussed in this poster with a focus on the artist materials and techniques encountered in these two fifteenth-century cassoni.

avatar for Sydney Beall

Sydney Beall

Postgraduate Fellow in Paintings Conservation, Yale University Art Gallery
Sydney Beall is a Postgraduate Fellow in Paintings Conservation at the Yale University Art Gallery where she is focusing on the conservation treatments of two Italian 15th-century cassone painted by Paolo Uccello (1397–1475). She earned her M.S. from the Winterthur/University of... Read More →

avatar for Irma Passeri

Irma Passeri

Senior Conservator of Paintings, Yale University Art Gallery
Irma Passeri is Senior Paintings Conservator at the Yale University Art Gallery. She received her degree in the Conservation of Easel Paintings from the Conservation School of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, in Florence in 1998. Prior to working for the Yale Art Gallery, she worked... Read More →

Friday June 1, 2018 3:30pm - 4:00pm MDT
Texas Ballroom (Foyer outside Ballrooms - Poster Session) Marriott Marquis Houston