This treatment was a unique opportunity to work on a very interesting object attributed to renowned Renaissance artist, Lucca Della Robbia.
The technique of tin glazed or "enameled" terracotta was not invented by Della Robbia, but he was the first to apply the striking blue, white, and teal color scheme to large figurative terracotta sculpture and reliefs.
Several versions of this composition are known, including the nearly identical Freidrichstein Madonna known from published photographs, which was destroyed in Berlin during WWII.
The object was analyzed with UV, X-Ray, and XRF. UV analysis showed extensive over-paint and repairs, while X-ray clearly showed extensive structural damage that was repaired with iron bars, putty, and additional clay from the reverse.
My treatment addressed only cosmetic issues as the historical repairs were stable and properly aligned. I removed the extensive and discolored over-paint and many years accumulation of ingrained surface grime and soot residue. I made minor repairs and fills to areas of loss, chips, and cracks. The largest task was visually reintegrating the losses and damages by in-painting and overall varnishing of the surface.
In addition, I stabilized and inpainted damages to the associated frame, by a known Italian-born framemaker, Azeglio Pancani, who likely built the frame in New York. The Della Robbia was purchased by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery of Buffalo in 1929.