Yesterday, 30 May 2018, I lived one of the most beautiful moments of my life: I had the privilege of a private meeting with Pope Francis! A meeting in Casa Santa Marta, which lasted 20 minutes experienced with great intensity and great emotion.
The prestigious opportunity has been possible thanks to the film-documentary ‘Caravaggio, the soul and the blood’ produced by Sky and Magnitudo Film in collaboration with Vatican Media, which has been a great success of public and critics and that adds to the strand of film of art that Sky dedicated to the great Italian artists known and admired all over the world, such as “Raphael – the Prince of The Arts” and “Michelangelo – Infinity”, on the October, 2018 in cinemas, that sees the collaboration of the Vatican Media, Vatican Museums. The Bottega Tifernate has participated in both projects, making copies of the paintings to the scenes of fiction.
I have been able to explain to the Holy Father the pictography technique, as we work to build a painting, the effort it takes to rediscover ancient techniques that today are lost.
All this in front of a reproduction in pictography oil on canvas, from Caravaggio “The calling of St. Matthew”, made for the hall of Casa Santa Marta.
The work was started in February and carried forward to more hands to be punctual with the appointment. The processing took place through the use of techniques and materials used by the artist for the original.
We have used “biacca” for the whites colors to give the whites a
shine without equal (this substance repels light more than any other colors), and we applied the black to the multiple layers according to his own way to works, to make them even more deeply.
Thanks to the availability from the part of the leaders of St. Louis of the French, we were able to work within the Contarelli Chapel, in front of the painting.
For the first thing we take an high definition photos.
Then, in the painting phase, we were able to proceed with an in-depth comparison of the copy with the original in the same light conditions.
This allowed us to check not only the details and shapes, but above all the color differences that have been adjusted directly in front of the real Caravaggio.
In this way, we obtained an exceptional result, and the picture, also if 3x smaller, can communicate enjoy and emotions that you can feel in front of a Masterpiece.
Pope Francis has always had a fondness for Caravaggio, and in particular the calling of St. Matthew, that he was going to contemplate in the Church of St. Louis of the French since the Cardinal was in Rome. A framework that also encompasses the meaning of the motto he has chosen for his Pontificate:
“Miserando atque eligendo”.
I saw in the eyes of the Holy Father to a sense of wonder, and a sincere joy in admiring this unexpected gift:
the simplicity of it, the charisma that emanates, have left me a great gift, an enrichment of the deep changes you, forever…
…and a feeling that my studies, the sacrifices and the experiences lived with Francesca, and Romulus and all of our team working in order to re-create it in a more scientific can any work of art, have reached the pinnacle of recognition…
The Pope that has available the greatest Masterpieces that humankind has ever known, wanted to own a painting located in a home from which it is difficult to move. The only way to experience the excitement and the awe that it inspires, was to have a copy but not a copy of any:
doveve elicit the emotion that you feel in front of the original: it had to be recreated by working on the meaning that the artist wanted to communicate to the viewer.
This indicates to us that the recovery of the memory art has a meaning: re-create a work that could be stolen or disappear as a result of exceptional events, has a high cultural value but also historical and artistic heritage.
When I began my studies in 1990, no one thought to the utility of the pictografia but today, we have many examples that can testify to the contrary.
We will continue our studies and now we are sure that the road taken is the right one.