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Uncovering the Secrets of Carlo Crivelli by Daphne De Luca

Daphne de Luca is a highly qualified and extremely experienced conservator, teacher, editor and author, and sits on the boards of many illustrious organisations concerned with cultural heritage.

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Her field of expertise includes not only techniques and materials used in conservation, but also art history. Through her scientific research projects she has developed a deep understanding of the technical aspects of the work of many of the Grand Masters from Italy, (including Giotto, Masaccio, Federico Barocci, Adolfo de Carolis etc.) At the moment she is focusing on the Polyptych by the Venetian painter, Carlo Crivelli (1430?-1494?), whose work you may find in Montefiore dell’Aso. She is currently organising an international convention on the artist, planned for 2021. She has recently published a monogram, ‘Il polittico di Carlo Crivelli a Montefioredell’Aso.’ This magnificent polyptych was painted for the church of Saint Francis in Montefiore, but was unfortunately later dismantled, and some panels ended up in various museums around the world.This volume presents the history of the numerous dismantlings, (and the attitude to cultural heritage that this reveals), from that perpetrated by the Franciscan monks in the 19th century, up to the last attempt by the Comune (Local Council) to sell off the remaining panels. This was rejected by the Education Board in February 1908. The book is above all dedicated to Crivelli´s painting techniques as revealed by scientific research. He regarded his paintings like the work of a goldsmith, in which gold and silver is used to add  a sumptuous quality to Venetian brocaded velvet. The polyptych consists not only of paintings of extraordinary beauty, but also craftsmanlike creations of enormous quality. The six panels which remain in the town museum pay testament to what was indisputably one of the most impressive works painted by the Venetian Master.