An initial approach to the Nelli restoration, in the studio

The Man Who Knew Nelli’s Name…

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‘Art historian’ Giorgio Vasari meets Nelli and mentions her in his ‘Lives’. He poignantly writes, “she would have done marvelous things had she had the opportunity, as men do, to study and devote herself to drawing and portraying living and natural things. It is also clear that in her paintings, the faces and features of women are much better and have much greater verisimilitude than her heads of men, because she was free to study women at her leisure. Some of the women’s faces in her works are portraits…Despite the fact that the artist, being a woman, lacked practice in painting from life, these are painted so well that no one could ask for more.” Vasari recounts knowing her, visiting in her convent and seeing many of her works on the walls her convent. He relates how she was self-taught in painting, beginning with smaller, imitative works and then with time and effort moving to larger, more ambitious pieces like her Last Supper.