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    Ludovico Mazzolino’s (c. 1480 – c. 1530) – The Crossing of the Red Sea (1521)

    Ludovico Mazzolini’s 1521 painting of The Crossing of the Red Sea in the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland is to be restored thanks to a grant from TEFAF, The European Fine Art Foundation. TEFAF announced today that Ireland’s National Gallery and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (Connecticut, USA) are the recipients of this year’s TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund (TMRF). This is an annual grant created in support of the international art community’s vital work to preserve artistic and cultural heritage.

    Remarkable for its size and rarity Mazzolino’s biblical artwork departs from the conventional rules of perspective. It has been in the collection of the gallery for over a century but it cannot be displayed in its current fragile state. With severe delamination of the paint layer and soiling to the cracked surface The Crossing of the Red Sea requires extensive conservation efforts. With TEFAF’s funding, the National Gallery of Ireland will collaborate with experts in Mazzolino’s work to better understand his artistic practice so that this rare large-scale masterpiece can be sensitively restored and made accessible to the visiting public.

    Dr Caroline Campbell, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, commented, “Ludovico Mazzolino was a prominent painter in sixteenth-century Italy, where he worked for the Este court in Ferrara and later in Bologna. The Crossing of the Red Sea is recognized internationally as an important and rare large-scale example of his work. It has been part of the National Gallery of Ireland’s collection since 1914, acquired just 50 years after we opened our doors. Unfortunately, due to the fragility of the panel, we have been unable to put it on display for many decades. We are delighted to receive this grant from the TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund, which will enable us to undertake essential conservation treatment on this striking painting and make it possible to return it to our galleries for the enjoyment of our visitors.”

    The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, has received funding from TEFAF to restore Venus with a Nymph and Satyr (1600), a marble sculpture by Pietro Francavilla (1548 – 1615). The TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund was established in 2012 to support and promote professional restoration and related scholarly research of significant museum artworks. Championing art in all its forms, applications for its grants are open to museums from all over the world and artworks of any age. Each year, a maximum of €50,000 is allocated to projects. The committee of independent experts usually selects two winners to each receive up to €25,000 to support their restoration project.

    Pietro Francavilla’s Venus with a Nymph and Satyr (1600)

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