NEW FINDINGS IN LIGHT OF THE RECENT CONSERVATION TREATMENT- Case studies from the collections of the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana


Course Description

The conservation treatment carried out on the portrait of Pope Clement XIII from the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, is an emblematic case-study for the opportunities that scientific investigations and conservation treatments offer for the knowledge and promotion of artworks.

At their arrival in the conservation laboratories of the CCR, the painting on canvas carried with it a number of questions relating to the date and attribution. The answers were found through the synergy among the historical-artistic study, the analysis of the technique, the materials used by Mengs and the complex cleaning treatment which revealed new details of the artwork.

The webinar aims to illustrate the work and research instruments used and the data acquired during this journey of knowledge, through the voices of the professionals involved.


  •  Steffi Roettgen. Anton Raphael Mengs and papal portraiture.  Alessandro Gatti and Tiziana Cavaleri,  Inside the painting. Diagnostic insights on the materials and the technique adopted by Anton Raphael Mengs. 
  • Alessandro Gatti, New light for a rediscovered masterpiece by Mengs: the cleaning treatment.  

Course objectives

  • To acquire information on Anton Raphael Mengs’ artistic production and on papal portraiture in the 18th century;
  • To obtain technical-scientific data on the materials and technique used by the artist;
  • To acquire information on the scientific investigations carried out on the artwork and on the interpretation of analytical data;
  • To examine the methodologies and instruments used, from the multidisciplinary study to the choices of intervention.

Useful information

10th October 2022, 15:30-17:30 (Rome Time)
language: Italian



Steffi Roettgen

Steffi Roettgen is professor emerita of art history at the Ludwig Maximilians Universität (LMU) in Munich (Germany). Her main fields of research deal with Neoclassical art in Rome during the 18th century with special reference to Anton Raphael Mengs and Johann Joachim Winckelmann. Her major book publications include several volumes on Italian fresco painting from Renaissance to Baroque and a monograph with a catalogue raisonnée of A. R. Mengs. At the moment she is working on a digitalized supplement of Mengs’ works in a major project hosted by the University Library of Heidelberg: https://sempub.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/wv_mengs/en/.


Alessandro Gatti

Senior conservator of paintings with a Degree in Conservation of Cultural Heritage (University of Milan), since 2006, he has been working for the Conservation and Restoration Center “La Venaria Reale” where he has specialized in the study of Venetian, Lombard and Piedmontese renaissance painting. He has been teaching for several years for the Degree Course in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage (University of Turin in agreement with CCR). Among his main areas of research: the preliminary study for the restoration of the cartoon School of Athens by Raphael and the restoration of many masterpieces by Tiziano, Tintoretto, Rubens, Van Dick, Mengs and Canova.


Tiziana Cavaleri

Tiziana Cavaleri, graduated in Science and Technology for Cultural Heritage and Materials Sciences at the University of Turin, has been a conservation scientist at the CCR since 2009, where she deals with diagnostics, archeometry and research applied to cultural heritage. Her research activities are focused on the application, integration and development of multi-band imaging techniques and point spectroscopies. She teaches Physics Applied to Cultural Heritage at the University. She is the contact person of the Pictorial Material Database project, available online on the CCR website, and of the non-invasive analysis campaign of the tomb of Kha as part of the collaboration with the Egyptian Museum (TT8 project).