“The fragility of the contemporary and the permanence of the temporary”: two meetings with the restorer Livio Nappo to discover the exhibition by Jenny Saville

3 November 2021

A cycle of two meetings conceived by the restorer Livio Nappo who, on November 10 and 23, will guide the public to discover the exhibition of Jenny Saville from an unprecedented point of view.

The Museo Novecento is pleased to present The fragility of the contemporary and the permanence of the temporary, a cycle of two meetings organized by MUS.E and conceived by the restorer Livio Nappo:

“With these two important events we have decided to offer our public the opportunity to discover the exhibition of the great British painter Jenny Saville from a new point of view” comments Sergio Risaliti, director of the Museo Novecento. “The restorer Livio Nappo, coming from the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence – a center of absolute excellence worldwide in the field of restoration – will transfer his direct experience in the conservation of works to an audience of experts and not depth of the latter and, above all, the relationship that is established between the artefacts and those who take care of conserving, protecting and enhancing them during their international travels and transfers. A unique opportunity to enter the heart of an exhibition led by industry professionals”.

“The idea of ​​the meetings starts from the certainty that talking about conservation problems of contemporary works of art to a heterogeneous public represents a limit” comments Livio Nappo. “The challenge of these meetings is to create precisely this basic competence, bringing the public back to contact with the artist’s material, in order to fill that sensory gap that belongs to the average visitor. In fact, we are often used to approaching a work only through the gaze, living an incomplete experience, because it lacks the tactile, olfactory, auditory data on the subject under observation”. This direct approach, together with the projection of some details of Jenny Saville’s works, illuminated with grazing light (which helps to enhance the three-dimensionality of the material used), allows you to experience the observation of the creative and artistic gesture with a different awareness and opens the doors. to the understanding of the conservation problems of ancient and contemporary works of art.

Restorer of Cultural Heritage at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence, Livio Nappo has achieved a specialization in paper and parchment materials, dealing directly with the graphic works present in the Jenny Saville exhibition (until 20 February at the Museo Novecento and locations various). The meetings will have a tactile-practical component around which the restorer will build the narration of the journey to discover the British artist’s works: through a series of artist’s paper samples marked with charcoal and sanguine, the public will have the opportunity to have a concrete comparison with the work of the restorer and the works of Jenny Saville. The details relating to the events are as follows:

⇒Wednesday, November 10, 6:00 pm – Cinema Room, Museo Novecento, The fragility of the contemporary and the permanence of the temporary, experiences and reflections on Jenny Saville’s graphics, introduces Carlo Francini, Art Historian and Referent for the Historic Center of Florence UNESCO World Heritage.
Knowledge of artistic language and its understanding start from observation; but only direct experience with the material that makes up a work of art allows full and definitive interpenetration with it. This meeting was born with the intention of allowing the public to get in touch with the tools of graphics, to experience their consistency, potential, limits and lead them to formulate reflections on their duration over time. The artist’s task is to generate the creative gesture. The restorer’s task is to preserve the fruit of that gesture and pass it on to posterity. But what perspectives does this dialogue offer?

⇒Tuesday, November 23, 18:00 – Cinema Room, Museo Novecento, The fragility of the contemporary and the permanence of the temporary, ancient and modern techniques in the art of drawing, introduces Marco Ciatti, Art historian and Superintendent of the Opificio delle Hard stones.
Jenny Saville’s work has its roots in traditional artistic techniques. His sincere rapture for the work of the great Michelangelo offers the possibility of returning to the classic graphic gesture and declining it countless times to the modern. The skilful use of graphite, pencil and pastel, mixed with the products of industrial modernity, opens up endless doors to the contemporaneity of the means of expression and allows the viewer to establish an ancestral contact with the work of art. But what future lies with the tools used by Jenny Saville?


Livio Nappo, born in 1981, passionate about paper and parchment materials, as well as printing and binding techniques, obtained the title of Restorer of Cultural Heritage at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence.
For years he has been collaborating and working for private collectors, important national and international museums, foundations, private and public bodies, for which he carries out restoration interventions on assets of undisputed value. In 2008 he developed a new conservation and display system for paintings on parchment which he summarizes in a monographic publication published by Campanotto Editore, while since 2018 he has collaborated as the only papyrus restorer on the “Crossing Boundaries” project at the Egyptian Museum in Turin.
He regularly intervenes at the Ferrara and Florence Restoration Fairs and writes for specialist magazines such as Kermes and OPD Restauro. In collaboration with sector technicians, he investigates aspects related to great modern and contemporary works as well as the creation, production and conservation of materials such as magazines, magazines, comics, playing and collectible cards, philatelic material, shares, bonds and public debt, postcards, photographic prints on paper.

The meetings take place in the Cinema Room of the Museo Novecento. Free admission subject to availability. For information, contact: segreteria.museonovecento@musefirenze.it.