The Cappella maggiore of the Franciscan basilica of Santa Croce in Florence, once under the patronage of the noble Alberti family, was the last in the historic transept to be frescoed at the end of the fourteenth century. The commission was given to Agnolo Gaddi, the last descendent of the family of painters which boasted direct artistic lineage from Giotto.
The artistic and cultural event of the decoration of the chapel with a grandiose cycle illustrating the Legend of the True Cross assumed multiple meanings within the Florentine context of the time. It confirmed the role of the Franciscan Order in defense of the Catholic Church and established the essential iconographic foundation of the subject that would find such fortune into the full Renaissance as shown by Piero della Francesca in Arezzo.
After the restoration carried out by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure from 2004 to 2014, a decision was made to return to examine this major composition through the contributions of a group of experts from diverse disciplines in the light of material and technical data presented by the restorers - a choice that provokes us to to go beyond the traditional scholarly environment and that above all represents an incentive to explore the possibilities offered by art conservation to the study of the humanities.
Introduction: Takaharu Miyashita, Cristina Acidini and Giuseppe De Micheli
Interventions: Fabrizio Bandini, Annamaria Bernacchioni, Chiara Cappuccini, Jean Cadogan, Massimo Chimenti, Sonia Chiodo, Alberto Felici, Cecilia Frosinini, Mariarosa Lanfranchi, Paola Ilaria Mariotti, Giovanni Maggioni, Takaharu Miyashita, Alessio Monciatti, Ludovica Sebregondi, Johannes Tripps, Carl Strehlke, Alessandra Malquori, Matteo Mazzalupi.