The French tricolore in Italy
Before the restoration

Napoleonic Ceiling

The Palazzo Gardini sits on the top of the hill in a town called Bibbona. The interior of the palace was decorated in a Napoleonic style, ever so fashionable during Bonaparte’s occupation of Italy.

The room that was restored has a breath taking view towards Corsica (Napoleon’s birth place), visible in the winter by it’s snow capped mountains across the Tyrrhenian sea.

The room and the Palazzo had degraded since World War II and rain and bird droppings had ruined most of the walls and ceilings.

To restore the damage the flaking plaster was knocked down and new plaster went up, colours were matched and decoration lines re-laid. The end result was a room that had little difference to the one originally painted in 1804.

Learning from Old Masters

One of the pleasures of re-painting decoration like this, is the difficulty in matching both colour- and brush technique. It is surprising how painters in the past were so economical with their colour ranges; with very small variations between warm and cold tones in each colour range , a strong and effective decoration scheme can be achieved. One learns so much during restoration orientated projects, which helps enormously by increasing one’s own repertoire when it comes to designing and painting big, blank walls.

Client: Palazzo Gardini / Bibbona