Restoration of the Toscana Collection-Legacy

Special mention / Diploma in the category Conservation in the year 2008.

Dating of the building: 17th century.

Applicant: Historical Heritage of Castile and Leon Foundation.

Reason for the award :

For the delicate restoration of a complete collection of Tuscan paintings, preserved in situ since its shipment from Florence in 1611.

The splendidly restored legacy of Tuscany offers the rare opportunity to view an entire collection of little-known Italian painters of the late Renaissance and early Baroque.

Queen Margarita of Austria, consort of Philip III, reformed the Descalzas Reales convent in Valladolid during the court’s stay in this city between 1601 and 1606. This explains the existence in the monastery of a collection of Italian paintings of extraordinary importance, both for their quality and for the historical circumstances that made their arrival possible. These works were sent to Spain in 1611 as a gift from the Medicean court to the queen and were placed in their final location in 1615. There are thirty religious-themed canvases that had been commissioned a year earlier from different Tuscan painters, with an iconographic programme of various devotional cycles, history of the Virgin, stories of the Passion, and representations of Saints.

The collection is an impressive example of painting from the early 17th century and one of the best catalogues of Italian art of that era preserved in situ in Spain. The state of conservation was very diverse, although many works showed damage and degradation, having been subjected to inappropriate conditions (high temperatures, manipulations, aggressive disassembly and storage during the Civil War, deposits of biological dirt, etc.). The intervention focused on twenty canvases, originally located in different places. Among the names of the painters are Pompeo Caccini, Giovanni Nigetti, Filippo Tarchiani, Simone Sacchettini and Francesco Curradi. The plan also included a museum project in situ, the production of a travelling exhibition throughout Castile and Leon over the following two years, and the edition of a monograph on restoration and catalogue of works.

Others awards in Castilla y León: