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#49 The secrets of Da Vinci’s “Adoration of the Magi”: A Conversation with Maurizio Seracini

Updated: Nov 13, 2022

Saturday, October 29th on Zoom

10am Los Angeles & Phoenix, 1pm NY & Toronto, 6pm London, 7pm Italy

My guest, Maurizio Seracini, does not need much introduction, as he was the only real person to be featured in Dan Brown’s “The da Vinci Code” and “Inferno.” According to Seracini, “A museum should be seen like a hospital and the works of art on display like patients. Then, we will be on the right path to make conservation become a true science.

Using the example of the “Adoration of the Magi,” we will be taken on a scientific study tour, and show what it takes to create a digital clinical chart for a work of art. An incredible under-drawing by Leonardo, made visible by technology after five centuries, will be shown, together with the objective data proving that the monochrome brownish layer covering the masterpiece was not the work of Leonardo, but rather a poor repainting done years after the death of the master.

Seracini will then focus on what is an "attribution" of a work of art as compared to an "authentication," showing us the possibilities, advantages, and limitations which make them so different.

Since the mid-1970s, Maurizio Seracini, with his background in engineering and art history, pioneered the use of multi-spectral diagnostic imaging and analytical diagnostics to study art and architecture. He graduated in bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego in 1973 and in Electronic Engineering from the University of Padua in 1977. That year he founded Editech, the first company in Italy for diagnostics and authentication of Cultural Heritage. Seracini’ s work has been highlighted in TED talks, and documentaries featuring his work can be seen on the National Geographic, Smithsonian, and BBC channels.

Saracini is well-known for his search for the legendary Leonardo da Vinci mural, The Battle of Anghiari, which many thought to exist underneath a section of Giorgio Vasari's fresco in the Salone dei Cinquecento, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence. Using has advanced technology, Seracini has studied more than 4000 works of art, including Leonardo's Last Supper, and Adoration of the Magi, Botticelli's Allegory of Spring, Raphael’s Madonna of the Goldfinch and Caravaggio’s Medusa.

A former National Geographic Fellow, in 2017 the Royal Photographic Society awarded him for his advances and breakthroughs in the application of Scientific Imaging to the world of Art and Cultural Heritage.


Minimum suggested donation: $20

This talk is free for Friends of Paola's Studiolo!

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