The banner of Saint Blaise
Issues and challenges in the restoration and presentation of a double-sided artwork
The Petit Palais museum has been working for many years in close collaboration with the CICRP and is offering the opportunity to the public to discover the scientific studies and restorations that the works have undergone, in the format of case study exhibits: the Case Studies of the Petit Palais. These case studies have been as successful in satisfying public curiosity and demand for precise and current information on the works as the request made by the Museums of France Heritage Department to refocus on the permanent collections.
The second piece of the series, ‘Popular piety in Italy in the 15th century. The banner of Saint Blaise by Niccolò da Foligno’, is dedicated to an important banner painted by Niccolò da Foligno. This piece, which has significantly enriched the collections of the Petit Palais museum, is part of the Campana collection given on permanent loan by the Louvre Museum in 1976. Probably commissioned by the brotherhood of Santa Maria del Vescovado of Assisi from the most accomplished Umbrian painter of the 15th century, this very large two-sided processional banner is the only example of this type of devotional object in France’s collections. It was awaiting restoration before being presented to the public.
• Dominique Vingtain, director of the Petit Palais museum: Brief history of a very long restoration [histoire d’une très longue restauration]
• Monique Pomey, restorer (reserve): Restoration of the banner at the CICRP [La restauration de la bannière au CICRP]
• Sarah Boularand, CICRP chemist: Results of the last chemical analyses [Les résultats des dernières analyses chimiques]
• Marie Mayot, assistant director of the Petit Palais museum: Presentation of a two-sided piece and its restoration to the public [La présentation d’une œuvre biface et la restitution au public]