The careful cleaning has brought back the best possible reading to Ognissanti Polyptych masterpiece by the celebrated monk painter. This is due to the calibrated removal of the layer of glutinous and resinous varnishes and also the removal of old, altered restorations. Now it is possible to fully appreciate the masterful play of transparencies in the flesh tones and in the flowing drapery of the figures, but above all in the exceptionally beautiful forest inspired by the real forest around Camaldoli. It is, in conclusion, truly an exemplary restoration. The superb polyptych was commissioned by the religious order of the Humiliati for the Church of Ognissanti, where it was seen in all its magnificence by Vasari who rightly attributed it to the great Lombard painter Giovanni da Milano, attested in Florence from 1346.
The polyptych, credibly painted around the year 1360, was repeatedly moved and dismembered over the centuries; except a lateral panel and a base panel that are unaccounted for, a fragment of the main panel with The Coronation of the Virgin, belonging to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, and the cusp with the Trinity, St. John the Evangelist and St. Paul, owned by an Italian Franciscan order, all the surviving panels are property of the Uffizi Gallery. The recent rediscovery and revaluing of Giovanni da Milano, as the most authoritative representative of the Giottesque manner and precursor of the late Gothic vision, prompted the Polo Museale Fiorentino to organize the first monographic exhibition ever dedicated to the great Lombard master, and at the Accademia the newly restored panels will enjoy pride of place before returning to the Uffizi Gallery in a triumph of colors.
Colors that the uniform brownish patina of varnish and glue had kept hidden for decades, but also protected until the masterly cleaning revealed an exceptionally well-preserved condition of the painting; thanks to this extraordinary restoration we can now ecstatically revel in looking at the profusion of the richest gold, the deepest lapis lazuli blue, the brightest red, lifelike complexions and amazing iridescences, that the genial master rendered with flawless refined sensibility.