Last July, Bottega collaborators William Pettit and Candice Smith Corby were invited to create a faithful reproduction of Masaccio’s Expulsion fresco as part of an installation by artist Meriç Algun Ringborg for the 2015 Istanbul Biennial, curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev.
The original fresco, as part of the Brancacci Chapel in the Santa Maria del Carmine Church in Florence, was painted by Masaccio in 1426. The chapel contains a series of frescos based on the life of St. Peter, collectively completed by Masaccio, Masolino, and Filippino Lippi between 1424-1480. The Expulsion is an iconic painting of great importance due to its portrayal of groundbreaking naturalism and life-like emotion, influencing generations of future artists. After a fire, subsequent remodeling, and the addition of a fig garland to Adam and Eve in the 1700’s, the chapel was restored in the 1980’s. The fig garland was removed and extensive research was conducted on the authorship. Our research involved the investigation of materials and techniques used by Masaccio who is known as one of the few artists to work in true buon fresco. Of particular interest, Masaccio used the blue pigment smalt, under a layer of azurite which was indeed applied “a secco.”
After many discussions of authenticity, it was decided to reproduce the fresco as it appears today, showing evidence of damage and successive restorations. The painting took place over 6 days in four “giornate.”
The fresco is visible, together with the installation by Meriç Algun Ringborg, at the Adahan Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey.
Initial Wall Preparation and set up.