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Matteo di Giovanni’s 'Assumption of the Virgin' is one of the greatest surviving Sienese paintings of the Renaissance. Remarkably, it was discovered in the wood store of the Augustinian monastery of Sant'Agostino at Asciano, near Siena, in the 19th century.

Join Conservator Britta New and Scientist Nelly von Aderkas as they discuss the challenges of cleaning the altarpiece: 

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With thanks

The cleaning of Matteo di Giovanni's 'Assumption of the Virgin' is a collaboration across departments at the National Gallery.

With thanks to Britta New and Kendall Francis of the Conservation Department, and Nelly von Aderkas and Helen Howard of the Scientific Department.


About the altarpiece

Read about the research into the altarpiece and its reconstruction in the article, Reconstructing the Renaissance: Matteo di Giovanni’s lost altarpiece for Sant’Agostino, Asciano (2013)

Watch previous episodes in the series:

The unfashionable artist who inspired Van Gogh
Kristina Mandy discusses Adolphe Monticelli, an artist admired in his lifetime, who inspired Van Gogh's famous 'Sunflowers', but who later fell out of fashion
Restoring an 'undisplayable' painting: Part two
Kendall Francis and Larry Keith discuss the restoration of a work with a 'snowstorm' of painting loss
Larry Keith reveals an exciting discovery about Piazzetta's unfinished work, 'The Sacrifice of Isaac', and explains the plan for the painting's restoration
Restoring the Gallery's oldest painting
Kristina Mandy shows the steps involved in restoring a painting that is over 750-years-old
Restoring Botticelli's 'Adoration of the Kings': Part one
Jill Dunkerton and Britta New find out what was hiding beneath a frame for nearly two centuries
Restoring Botticelli's 'Adoration of the Kings': Part two
Watch Jill Dunkerton as she retouches a Renaissance masterpiece
Restoring Botticelli's 'Adoration of the Kings': Part three
Jill Dunkerton and Marta Melchiorre ask, how can we identify Botticelli's hand from that of his assistant, Filippino Lippi's?
The Gallery during lockdown
Peek behind our closed doors, with Larry Keith
Cleaning Rubens's 'Het Steen'
Find out what Larry Keith discovered when he removed 75 years’ worth of discoloured varnish from Rubens’s 'Het Steen'
A structural repair of Rubens's 'Het Steen'
How will Britta New meet the challenge of repairing Rubens's fragile panel which has survived centuries' worth of restorations and one very severe frost?
Retouching Rubens's 'Het Steen'
After months of restoration, Larry Keith unveils the newly retouched 'Het Steen' in the Conservation Studio
A Closer Look: Conservation of Paintings
Learn more about the art of conservation with our 'Closer Look' guides. Get any two books in the series for only £15.
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