Wood & Sculpture

“The flood wreaked havoc not only with panel paintings but with wooden objects of all kinds. The magnificent Quattrocento stalls and cupboards in S. Croce, for instance, were warped and shattered. ... Fortunately, a highly qualified Bolognese, Otello Caprara, was available to supervise the mammoth task [of restoring them]. Following a large CRIA grant, repair in the sacristy of S. Croce is far advanced, a series of fine fifteenth-and sixteenth-century doors (including those of the Uffizi) is partly finished, and the models for the Duomo are being recomposed. Brunelleschi’s model of the cupola, completely restored, lacks a few capitals but it may now be admired without the layer of paint applied presumably in the baroque period.

Though Florence possessed studios in the Uffizi for the treatment of paintings, it had no center for stone sculpture or for the minor arts and no specialists in these fields. Under pressure of the emergency it was decided to establish one, and, in the light of the accomplishments of the Palazzo Davanzati, it is proper to say that CRIA had the honor of making the first grant that was quickly matched by the Centro Nazionale delle Ricerche. Senior foreign restorers came to work there, especially from the United States and England, as well as students from several countries. Of the seventeen American students trained in conservation who were there in the summer, some have remained. One is out in the field, repairing the clay statues in the Cappella di S. Luca, the painter’s chapel, in the SS. Annunziata.”

Millard Meiss, "Florence and Venice a year later,"
Renaissance Quarterly, 21 (1968), pp. 105-106.