Monday, May 25, 2015

‘Raphael under Threat’ as Priceless Painting Buckles Under High Humidity

One of the priceless paintings produced by the famous Renaissance master Raphael, has recently come under serious threat of total spoilage due to the fact that the air-conditioning system in the gallery has become disused.

'The Deposition' by Raphael

The Borghese Gallery in Rome houses so many important masterpieces and ‘The Deposition’ is one of them. This particular painting by Raphael is also one of the worst hit by the adverse effect of humidity which has seen the work warping, all owing to the fact that the air-conditioning system in the room has started to malfunction, or is completely broken down. It is surprising however to observers that the authorities of the Borghese Gallery have not been able to fix the problematic cooling system which is needed to preserve the works.

This particular Raphael’s masterpiece – ‘The Deposition’, is a painting done by the artist in 1507; it portrays Jesus Christ being taken down from the cross, and it happens to be one of the paintings that is worst affected by the weather condition in the interior of the gallery. Experts also wonder at the fact that all of this is happening in one of Italy’s most popular museums – the Borghese Gallery, in Rome.

The case with this particular Raphael painting which is also sometimes referred to as The Entombment, is that it is painted on a wooden panel and not canvas, which is a more flexible medium or material for painting. The result of the high humidity upon the painting is that it has caused the work to warp so much so that the inside of the wooden frame is beginning to expose, and you can also see a bit of the wall behind from the front! And the danger of this resulting into a permanent damage is beginning to loom.

The Borghese Gallery in Rome

Sometime back however, the curators of the museum have been crying out for the attention of the Italian Cultural authorities concerning the broken down air-conditioning system but all to no avail. This much was alluded to by Kristina Hermann Fiore, a former director of the museum who raised the alarm explaining that the hot weather of the spring season has so affected the paintings housed in the enclosures of the breath-taking edifice which is the Borghese Gallery in Rome. This definitely calls for urgent attention in order to forestall a major loss, and preserve some very important world cultural and artistic heritage.

By Morgan Nwanguma

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