Yesterday, NYU students joined Villa La Pietra’s textile conservator, Claudia Beyer, and the collection manager, Francesca Baldry, to learn more about Villa La Pietra’s current conservation and iconographic project: Tobias and the Angel Raphael. Among the many things learned, the statuettes’ iconography, its particular treatment challenges, and the unique process of conservation it underwent, were the main topics of discussion.
The artwork: Tobias and the Angel Raphael is a mixed media Napolitan statuette from the late 18th century, that represents the story of Tobias’ pilgrimage to recuperate money for his recently blinded father. Accompanied by a dog, Tobias encounters an angel disguised as a simple villager willing to share the long journey with him. Little did he know his travel companion was the angel Raphael, the healer and protector of travelers, and thus begins Tobias quest of faith. The work of art was originally located in Villa La Pietra’s guest bathroom, which makes it possible to believe the family was aware of the story of Tobias and Raphael’s association with travel and pilgrimage. Once the statuettes’ treatment is complete, it will be returned to the same location. #nyuflorence#nyu#florence#history#iconography#art#conservation#artconservation#housemuseum#museum#artwork#biblical#angel#tobias#statue#villalapietra#actoncollection#italy#arthistory#estate#villa#tuscany