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Some Panels from Sassetta's Sansepolcro Altarpiece

Martin Wyld and Joyce Plesters
Technical Bulletin Volume 1, 1977


The first part of this article deals with the cleaning and restoration of seven of the panels from Sassetta's Sansepolcro Altarpiece, illustrating scenes from the life of Saint Francis. An account of their condition and previous treatment is given. The general principles employed in the restoration of these panels are stated at the end of this section. Illustrations include NG4757–NG4761 (after cleaning and restoration) and NG4760–NG4763 (before cleaning), together with 'The Marriage of Saint Francis to Poverty' (Musée Condée, Chantilly).

The second part is concerned with the technical examination of these panels and an attempt to interpret the results in terms of Sassetta's methods and materials. The main techniques used are optical and chemical microscopy, supplemented by laser microspectral analysis and X-ray diffraction analysis. Sections are devoted to the supports, gilding and glazing of the panels, paint layers and pigments. Colour illustrations of paint sections from NG4757–NG4758 are included.


altars, cleaning, paint, panel paintings, technical analysis

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To cite this article we suggest using

Wyld, M., Plesters, J. 'Some Panels from Sassetta's Sansepolcro Altarpiece'. National Gallery Technical Bulletin Vol 1, pp 3–17.

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