Piero della Francesca’s most famous fresco, Resurrection, appears more secular than spiritual: it portrays Christ as a victorious warrior coming out of the tomb after conquering death.
Following a year and a half of careful restoration the fresco has come back to life, showing brilliant colour and new and unexpected detail. The restoration was carried out in the public eye by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure of Florence. It was financed with €100.000 given by a private patron and €40.000 provided by the municipality.
The fresco had adorned a wall in what was the Sala dei Conservatori del Palazzo del Governo, a building where the chief magistrates and governors met together. It has been confirmed the painting was moved from its original location to what is now the Museo Civico.
Piero della Francesca painted the fresco between 1450 and 1463 at his hometown of Sansepolcro. He used a mixed technique of part fresco, part dry tempera in order to bring out the chromatic tones of both. Further investigation will be required to establish where the painting was originally located and to understand why it underwent a difficult relocation. The painting was probably moved shortly after the artist’s death in 1492.
The restoration was unveiled at the museum on Sunday March 25, an extraordinary day in which over 3,000 people viewed the fresco and paid homage to the Renaissance master of light and perspective.
The love and indissoluble tie between Piero della Francesa and his city of Sansepolcro can be seen in the city’s unique coat of arms which depicts the very same Resurrection.