Raphael La Muta portrait is back home in Urbino. The Portrait of a young woman, normally known as La Muta, has been recently restored by Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence after a trip to Japan (a Japanese tv network financed part of the restoration).
It will be displayed in the Ducal Palace Sala dei Banchetti until May 5th to celebrate her return and then will go back to the Duchess’ apartments where it belongs.
During the restoration the painting was analised through x rays and other methods and the attribution to Raphael is now almost 100% reliable.
I coulnd’t attend the celebration yesterday at the Ducal Palace but a friend (a talented restorer and very knowledgeable person) was there and she was kind enough to share her thoughts with me.
She sais that the main problem with the painting was the presence of many woodworm holes that made the wooden surface fragile. The holes have been filled and the varnish that was used during the latest restoration has been removed. The varnish was oxidised, giving the painting an amber shade that has now disappeared.
So, Raphael La Muta is back to its glory, well… actually my friend also said: “I think that the paint is too shiny, I should compare it to old images… the Japanese may have duplicated it!”… let’s hope they didn’t ;)