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About

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:

Behind the scenes in Conservation

Behind the scenes in Conservation

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
Behind the scenes in Conservation

Behind the scenes in Conservation

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
Behind the scenes in Conservation

Behind the scenes in Conservation

Restoring Botticelli's 'Adoration of the Kings': Part two

Watch Jill Dunkerton as she retouches a Renaissance masterpiece
Behind the scenes in Conservation

Behind the scenes in Conservation

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?
Behind the scenes in Conservation

Behind the scenes in Conservation

Cleaning 150-year-old varnish from a Frans Hals portrait

Paul Ackroyd cleans a portrait that has not been restored since 1876
Behind the scenes in Conservation

Behind the scenes in Conservation

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
Behind the scenes in Conservation

Behind the scenes in Conservation

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
Behind the scenes in Conservation

Behind the scenes in Conservation

Restoring an 'undisplayable' painting: Part two

Kendall Francis and Larry Keith discuss the restoration of a work with a 'snowstorm' of painting loss
Restoring an 'undisplayable' painting: Part one

Restoring an 'undisplayable' painting: Part one

Larry Keith reveals an exciting discovery about Piazzetta's unfinished work, 'The Sacrifice of Isaac', and explains the plan for the painting's restoration
Behind the scenes in Conservation

Behind the scenes in Conservation

Restoring the Gallery's oldest painting

Kristina Mandy shows the steps involved in restoring a painting that is over 750-years-old
Behind the scenes in Conservation

Behind the scenes in Conservation

The Gallery during lockdown

Peek behind our closed doors, with Larry Keith
Behind the scenes in Conservation

Behind the scenes in Conservation

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'
Behind the scenes in Conservation

Behind the scenes in Conservation

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?
Behind the scenes in Conservation

Behind the scenes in Conservation

Retouching Rubens's 'Het Steen'

After months of restoration, Larry Keith unveils the newly retouched 'Het Steen' in the Conservation Studio
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