Renaissance Secrets: A Lifetime Working with Wall Paintings by Michelangelo, Raphael, and Others at the Vatican

Maurizio De Luca, Translated by Jason Cardone

Engagingly written and profusely illustrated, this book offers readers a close-up “view from the scaffolding” of some of the greatest Renaissance wall paintings at the Vatican.

Beginning in the late 1400s, the greatest artists of Renaissance Italy were summoned to Rome, where they decorated the walls and ceilings of the Vatican. Expert restorer Maurizio De Luca spent his forty-year career in the Vatican Museums, including fifteen years as head restorer of the Painting Restoration Laboratory. He personally oversaw some of the most important restorations of the last half century, including wall paintings by Perugino, Botticelli, and others on the walls of the Sistine Chapel; the Pintoricchio wall paintings in the Bogia Apartments; the Raphael Rooms; and the last two frescoes by Michelangelo, in the Pauline Chapel at the Apostolic Palace.

In this accessible and copiously illustrated book, De Luca conveys the kind of knowledge that can only be derived from close personal observation. The reader is offered a stunningly intimate perspective that illuminates the distinctive challenges, choices, and techniques of each artist and demonstrates how the conservation process enriches the understanding and interpretation of these iconic works.

Maurizio De Luca was head restorer at the Painting Restoration Laboratory at the Vatican Museums at the time of his retirement in 2010. Jason Cardone is an adjunct professor at the American University of Rome.

This book is indispensable in facilitating, simply and lucidly, the approach to one of the most important places in history and in the world through the murals that illustrate it. The images chosen to accompany the text are of excellent quality, allowing even the non-expert reader to follow the author’s thinking without difficulty as it unfolds, and for the scholar they correctly support his assertations.
Il Giornale Dell’Arte

160 pages
8 1/4 x 11 inches
232 color and 2 b/w illustrations
ISBN 978-1-60606-799-4

Getty Publications
Imprint: Getty Conservation Institute