GOLD LEAF: DAVID OF THE MARINELLI FOUNDRY AT THE BARGELLO MUSEUM

In 2007 the Direction of the National Bargello Museum in Florence decided to restore the famous Renaissance bronze: the Donatello’s David. And chose to make the delicate work public by setting up the restoration site inside the large sculpture hall of the Museum (fig. 1-2-3). The patient cleaning work (fig. 4-5) has caused traces of the ancient gilding of some parts of the sculpture to reappear, such as areas of the helmet and hair, of the shoes and of details of the lower part (fig. 6-7- 8). At the end of the long restoration, the David was repositioned on its base. The Director of the Museum, Dr. Paolozzi Strozzi, wanted to exhibit a replica of the Ferdinando Marinelli Foundry with the “intact” gilding next to the original sculpture, as Donatello had wanted it. She came to the Foundry together with her collaborators (fig. 9), who have restored the necessary parts with the ancient system of “mission”, that is, with the gold leaf (fig. 10-11-12). The Marinelli replica, made from the cast taken on the original from the Marinelli Gipsoteca, had the honor of “accompanying” the Renaissance sculpture as it was originally (fig. 13-14-15).