Archdeaconal Church of Pieve di Cadore
The restoration of Tiziano Vecellio’s “Altarpiece of the Madonna with Child between Saints Titian and Andrew and an Acolyte” is now complete. The altarpiece is located in the Archdeaconal Church of Pieve di Cadore, the birthplace of the great sixteenth-century artist. The restoration, promoted and funded by the Tiziano and Cadore Study Center Foundation on the occasion of its twentieth anniversary, began in early May and was completed in recent weeks. The project was carried out in collaboration with the Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for the metropolitan area of Venice and the provinces of Belluno, Padua, and Treviso, as well as with the Archdeaconate of Cadore with Monsignor Diego Soravia.
“For twenty years, the Foundation has been promoting studies, research, and the valorization of the great Titian’s work,” says Maria Giovanna Coletti, President of the Tiziano and Cadore Study Center Foundation. “We do so by looking at the world from Titian’s birthplace, Pieve di Cadore, to which the artist, despite frequenting European courts, was deeply connected. We also attract tourists, researchers, and art lovers to Cadore and its lands. Therefore, it seemed important to celebrate this twentieth anniversary with a permanent operation that would allow for further enrichment of the Titian heritage. The restoration of the altarpiece, in addition to restoring the painting’s ancient splendor, was essential in demonstrating that the work is entirely by the supreme artist’s hand. This extraordinary news is made even more beautiful by the enjoyment of the painting, which has not only returned to its original colors but is perfectly illuminated thanks to Linea Light Group, to whom I am grateful for their sensitivity and foresight in enhancing such an extraordinary cultural asset.”
This restoration and study represented an important opportunity to recover and study a highly significant work in Vecellio’s biography, which also contains a self-portrait of the master. The canvas, which had suffered two thefts over the centuries, has now been restored to its former glory for the summer, with the addition of a new lighting system, thanks to Linea Light Group, which generously donated some projectors for the illumination of the Altarpiece itself and two adjacent works. The precious Altarpiece, which had suffered from the loss of the original pigment’s thickness and was in mediocre conservation conditions, has been enhanced not only by a formal restoration, which brought out beautiful details of the bishop’s robe, the background, and the cross of Saint Andrew but also by a new state-of-the-art lighting system. This lighting system was seamlessly integrated into the pre-existing lighting project (dating back to 2017), where Linea Light Group was already present with various solutions.
Gianni Bolzan, CEO of Linea Light Group, states: “We are delighted to have been part of this project of great cultural value. Every day, we strive to enhance the Veneto region and its artistic heritage. Over the past two years, we have proudly undertaken various initiatives, including those that involved the walls of Castello di Castelfranco Veneto and the Malchiostro Chapel in the Treviso Cathedral. These projects allow us to deploy the knowledge and know-how we have acquired over time, not only in the architectural field but also in the historical, museum, and religious sectors. For Linea Light Group, the region is like a treasure trove of values, knowledge, culture, and art. We are proud that, thanks to our solutions, this magnificent work, part of our artistic and cultural heritage, is shining once again”.
The lighting intervention focused on the altar and the side chapels, specifically on the Altarpiece, using two Navata Optus projectors, which were underpowered at 7W with medium flood optics of 30° and a Honeycomb filter to control glare, the amount of emitted light, and eliminate secondary beams. Usually, the nominal power of Navata Optus is 18W, but these solutions were underpowered (-7W) to provide a better experience of the artwork. A lower power level creates perfect lighting for the intimate and mystical context of the church. This particular setting was done on-site, symbolizing the flexibility of the Navata Optus solution. Placed on the sides of the Altarpiece, slightly lower and housed in a pre-existing arrangement, the Navata Optus projectors almost seem to disappear due to their extremely compact size, respecting the context while enhancing the artwork with high-quality lighting.
Two additional Navata Optus projectors, with the same characteristics, were aimed at the works in the side chapels, completing the illumination. The Navata range offers an updated optical range that allows for the enhancement of the architecture of a place of worship while respecting its context. The small size of the lamp body seems to almost disappear, and properly directed beams will enhance domes, vaults, walls, or create authentic paths of light. The Navata system includes bases with extremely compact dimensions, providing the designer with all the benefits of flexibility that make Navata unique. Bases with integrated power supply have been designed to allow the placement of various lighting fixtures from the Navata collection in complex architectural contexts, ensuring 100% stable positioning and fixed aiming of the installed projector. Despite their small size, the projector base accommodates On/Off, DALI2, and DALI PUSH configurations.
In addition to the standard base, Linea Light Group’s portfolio offers a “micro” solution (just 52x32mm with a height of 20mm) with a remote power supply, designed to position the different lighting fixtures of the Navata collection in narrow or recessed architectural contexts, such as cornices, grooves, or recesses, and even smaller dimensions. All Navata variants are available in three different finishes: white, black, and sand, and allow for the implementation of various optical filters to control light emission and glare. The Navata Optus solutions used for the illumination of the Altarpiece, thanks to the Fidelity LED chips developed by Linea Light Group in collaboration with Cree specifically for art lighting, boast extremely high color rendering (CRI98).
Starting from the premise that the best light is the one that best enhances the illuminated object, highlighting its winning aspects and increasing interest for the observer, the synergy between Cree and Linea Light Group has resulted in the development of innovative light sources. The goal was to provide the ideal light for every application, whether it be an office, a museum, or a commercial space. This important innovation originated from a careful examination of new methods of light measurement, particularly regarding color fidelity in all its nuances. Thus, the Fidelity LED chip was born, a technology mainly used in places of worship, museums, and prestigious retail spaces, where the goal is to present color in its true dimension.
With these elements, the final result is spectacular, a testament to the ingenuity of a great master who enriched humanity’s artistic heritage through his work, as well as Linea Light Group, which applied its technical know-how to serve this immense legacy.