Pontormo Restoration in the Capponi Chapel

Thanks to private donors Kathe and John Dyson, the Friends of Florence foundation was able to finance the €120,000 restoration of the Capponi Chapel, designed in 1420 by Brunelleschi in the church of Santa Felicita.

A century later, shortly after Ludovico di Gino di Ludovico Capponi acquired the chapel built for the Barbardori family, Jacopo Pontormo began to decorate the interior.

As an exponent of Mannerism, Pontormo pushed the main features of the High Renaissance canons — perspective, architectural volumes, and naturalism — beyond their extreme limits. That being said, Michelangelo was Pontormo’s font of inspiration for his Deposition in the Capponi Chapel.  Having been cleaned and prior restoration removed, the work is now glowing with renewed light.

In the Deposition, human forms of majestic proportions fill the space to the exclusion of all else. Christ’s muscular torso is shown in a twisted or serpentine pose, a strong light lends a sculptural quality to the figures, which seem to float through space, and the sherbet-like colors are saturated to intensity.

In Pontormo’s fresco of the Annunciation, also in the Capponi Chapel and restored in 2010, the Virgin revolves precariously off balance to look both at Gabriel and the altar wall; she can foresee the fate of her Son in the Deposition as the alighting archangel speaks to her.

The Mannerist artist’s haunting vision in the Church of Santa Felicita is accessible to visit at no charge from Monday – Saturday 9:30 am– 12:30 pm and 3:30 – 5 pm.