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- June 14, 1999
- Vol. 51
- No. 22
Some Love Pinin Brambilla's Restoration of Leonardo's Mural; Others Say It's Ruined
Even before the restoration, less than half of what Leonardo painted between 1494 and 1498 remained; the experimental base containing egg and linseed oil he used began deteriorating in just a few years. The mural was repaired at least seven times, including a complete repainting of three figures in 1726. Brambilla's team decided to remove not only the accumulated grime but all of the previous repaintings, redoing some missing images in water-colors. "It's not so much a restoration but a conservation of what remains," Michele Cordaro, director of Rome's Central Institute for Restoration, told Britain's Sunday Telegraph. Even detractors agree that some lost details—such as the vivid facial expressions, shiny glassware on the table and bucolic landscape in the background—have been revealed. "What emerged is what was left of Leonardo," Brambilla insists. "It was a masterpiece."
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