In the Chapter House of the old Dominican convent, now the Museum of San Marco in Florence, there is now an opportunity to revisit a foremost masterpiece of Fra Angelico, the Crucifixion with Saints. Its restoration was recently completed after a series of diagnostic examinations were performed by top scientific experts.
The mural showed signs not only of serious past damage but also traces of materials from the restoration performed 40 years ago by restoration expert, Dino Dini. And his own grandson, Giacomo Dini, under the direction of Magnolia Scudieri, performed the delicate and reverent operation, thanks to which the artistic content can once again be admired, having been made safe from the point of view of conservation, and its undamaged parts rendered fully legible.
Fra Angelico’s Crucifixion unique as an expression of the exceptional time of discussion and promise of union between religious faiths and spiritual orientations. The evangelists are present at the torture of Christ and the two thieves (the good one composed and confident, the bad one crying and in agony). But the crowd at Golgotha is all the more complex because the painter depicts, on the right and left, an unprecedented array of Saints of various places and times.
The extraordinary and unique iconography reflects an ideal of unity and concordance in Christianity, which was surely in tune with the climate of ecumenical hope of the temporary reunification of Eastern and Western Churches, ratified by the council with the decree of 6 July 1439, Laetentur Caeli.