Originally published in The Whispered, Directory of Craftsmanship. A contemporary guide to the Italian handmaking ability (Mondadori Electa, 2013)
Daniele Rossi, born in 1958, has honed his skills on works of art for over thirty years, and now holds a position of prominence in the field of conservation in Italy. He considers himself fortunate, even though his constant dedication and love for his work forces him to lead a life of seclusion. After training in Rome he took a diploma in 1985 from the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence. He passed from his workshop, filled with panel paintings on a gold ground, to Sodoma’s frescoes in the cloister of Monteoliveto Maggiore and in the chapel of Santa Caterina in the church of San Domenico in Siena, where he has also restored Guido da Siena’s great Maestà. As a child he lived in San Gimignano, and at the age of eight was troubled by Piero del Pollaiolo’s grand altarpiece in the church of Sant’Agostino. Later he would see it again and restore it, realizing a dream, but the mystery in the picture remains alive. In Florence he worked in the Corridoio Vasariano of the Uffizi on the self-portraits of Pellizza da Volpedo and Rembrandt, while in the gallery proper he restored Goya’s Countess of Chinchón, then the Madonnas of Fra Filippo Lippi, Titian and Signorelli and Lucas Cranach’s Portrait of Martin Luther and His Wife. In Siena in 2002 he was entrusted with the restoration of the twelve panels of Duccio di Buoninsegna’s huge Maestà and the tiny Madonna dei Francescani now in the Pinacoteca Nazionale. The following year he was summoned to the Metropolitan Museum in New York to give his professional advice on Duccio’s precious icon of the Madonna. In Spain he received an international award along with James Rosenquist and Mario Vargas Llosa. His most recent works include the tondi with the Evangelists by Pontormo and Bronzino in the Capponi Chapel of the church of Santa Felicita and the marble sculptures on the altar by Lorenzo di Mariano called Il Marrina in the church of Fontegiusta in Siena. He has worked for important collectors and antiquarians in Italy and America, especially in New York.
Via dei Pandolfini, 16, 50122 Florence, Italy