Complete restoration in Rome for Bernini’s Cornaro Chapel in S. Maria della Vittoria

An integral restoration was carried out by the Special Superintendence of Rome at the Cornaro Chapel with the Ecstasy of Santa Teresa d’Avila by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, in the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria, preceded by a long and in-depth preliminary study that revealed unpublished episodes in its history. A restoration that has given back, with a total intervention on the work, light and life to a masterpiece of Baroque art and which has also made it possible to investigate the working method that Bernini used to create one of his most emblematic monuments.

“The work of the restorers on the Gian Lorenzo Bernini monument is important from many points of view – he explains Daniela Porro special superintendent of Rome – First of all because it is an intervention that, after several decades, involved the Cornaro Chapel in its entirety and then because it was a unique opportunity to study and deepen the work, able to reveal details of the process of its realization, that otherwise it would have been difficult to know: an example of the importance of the protection carried out by the Special Superintendence of Rome on the artistic heritage of the capital “.

Thanks to restoration, upon cleaning and checking every surface, an explosion of colors has given new life to the Empire and to the angels around the dove of the Holy Spirit, to the original gilding, to the sculptures, to the marbles. What made the intervention complex was the variety of materials used by Bernini, for a paradigmatic example of the Baroque art of the ‘beautiful compound’, a perfect fusion of architecture, sculpture, painting and decoration, which the artist himself defined as his ‘less bad work’, or the best …

“The intervention was necessary to resolve some critical issues not addressed during the previous restorations – reports the scientific director of the project, Mariella Nuzzo – In particular, inside the tabernacle the stained glass window that radiates the sculptural group with Santa Teresa and the Angel has been repositioned and the stuccos of the small dome have been restored. A precious opportunity also to verify the conditions of the complex decoration of the upper register, which led to an important work of consolidation and cleaning of the sumptuous three-dimensional cloud on which Abbatini depicted the Empire, of the panels with the stories of the Saint and of the angels of the arcone “. And with the conservative revision of the entire Cornaro Chapel, the fruition, reading and understanding of thisartwork in its organicity.


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