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In this episode, Caroline Campbell, Director of Collections and Research, and Jill Dunkerton, Senior Restorer, discuss the challenge of restoring 'The Nativity' by Italian artist Piero della Francesca, one of the greatest painters of the Early Renaissance.

Piero made this picture for his family palace in his hometown of Sansepolcro, in Tuscany. Once thought to be unfinished, the painting was, in fact, damaged by restoration before it entered the National Gallery’s collection.

Find out more about the painting.

The conservation of Piero della Francesca’s 'The Nativity' is supported by:

The Rothschild Foundation

Moretti Fine Art Ltd

Watch previous episodes in the series:

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
Cleaning the 'lost altarpiece'
Britta New and Nelly von Aderkas discuss the cleaning of a Renaissance altarpiece that was hidden in an Italian wood store for many years
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?
Cleaning 150-year-old varnish from a Frans Hals portrait
Paul Ackroyd cleans a portrait that has not been restored since 1876
A first look at 'The Red Boy'
Paul Ackroyd introduces Lawrence's 'Red Boy' – a work so popular it was the first-ever painting to feature on a British postage stamp
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
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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