Restoring a Violante Siries Cerroti

Posted by: Roy Wilbur

Advancing Women Artists (AWA) is an American organization committed to identifying and restoring artwork by women in Florence’s museum storages. Through education and by exhibiting these works in Florence and abroad, it will prove possible to disclose this vital cultural legacy and promote its importance throughout the world.  Recently, AWA supported the restoration of a masterwork by seventeenth-century artist Violante Siries Cerroti that was unveiled on October 20 at Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi in Florence, Italy.

The above video, provided by AWA Director Linda Falcone, is a of the restoration.   “During her lifetime, ‘our’ latest artist insisted on being called ‘Signora’ despite the fact she was not of noble rank!,” Linda Falcone.

Florentine Violante Siries Cerroti (1709–1783) gained the patronage of the Medici dynasty after Fratellini’s death. Daughter of French cameo engraver, Louis Siries who was also the director of the prestigious Opificio delle Pietre Dure, she practiced several genres, including large-scale religious subjects, but is best known as a portraitist. Her most important work, hosted at the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi on Via Borgo Pinti, depicts the Virgin Mary presenting the Christ-child to Maria Maddelena de’ Pazzi, a Florentine noblewoman sainted in 1669. It was damaged by the Arno River’s 1966 flood. Accepted as a member of Academia dell’Arte del Disegno in 1732, she was the first woman granted permission to copy in the Uffizi nearly thirty-eight years later. Siries Cerroti has two paintings in the Vasari Corridor: her self portrait depicts the artist painting her father and an oil portrait of a lady with a roll of parchment dated 1734, also thought to be self-rendition.





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