Conservation work on Cimabue’s masterpiece to begin in January 2023, entirely made possible by Ferrari.
Ferrari champions the conservation of a work of huge historical and artistic significance for Italy and the world. Cimabue’s fresco ‘Madonna Enthroned with the Child, St Francis and Four Angels’ – known as the ‘Maestà di Assisi’ – is to be carefully restored in a project entirely made possible by Ferrari.
The conservation program will start next January and is expected to last around a year. The work is being led by a team from specialist firm Tecnireco, under the direction of Sergio Fusetti, Head Restorer at the Basilica of St Francis of Assisi, in partnership with Umbria’s Archaeology, Fine Art and Landscape Authority.
Dating from around 1285-1290, the ‘Maestà di Assisi’ is in the northern transept of the Lower Church of the Basilica. The fresco is famous not only for depicting a monumental image of the Virgin enthroned, but also one of the oldest portraits of Saint Francis, said to have been painted based on descriptions from people who knew him personally. Thanks to delicate conservation work, this masterpiece of universal value will glow brighter and continue to delight visitors in the future.
“Ferrari is an ambassador for Italy around the world. Ours is an extraordinary country, famed for thousands of years of artistic heritage. The world of luxury that Ferrari inhabits has close ties with art and culture, so it felt natural for us to play our part in preserving an Italian masterpiece, which also teaches a lesson from St Francis’ humility,” said Benedetto Vigna, CEO of Ferrari. “I believe corporate social responsibility, thanks to partnerships between the public and private sector, can bring significant results. Our projects in education, health and environmental protection are testaments to this approach. With today’s announcement made together with the friars of the Sacro Convento, we are proud to include cultural conservation, too.”
“The fresco depicting the Madonna Enthroned with the Child, Angels and St Francis by Cimabue will finally be restored to its historic splendour thanks to the contribution of Ferrari, which has chosen to take care of this major work in international art history,” said the Custos of the Sacred Convent of Assisi, Friar Marco Moroni, OFMConv. “The work also communicates to us the best known and probably oldest and most realistic portrait of Saint Francis, the man that Thomas of Celano described as ‘of rather small, average stature, regular round head, the face somewhat oval and outstretched, flat small forehead, black eyes, of normal size and full of simplicity’ (FF 465). Our thanks to Ferrari, which has chosen to support and promote the Italian art of which we are proud custodians. For us friars, it’s an honour to be able to take care of and highlight, through the contribution of benefactors and ordinary members of the public, the priceless asset that is the Basilica of St Francis, and present it to its visitors today and in the future”.