Art diagnostician and Friends of SACI member Maurizio Seracini recently presented interesting findings at an international conference regarding the Baptistery in Florence. Held on November 24 and 25, 2014, the conference was organized by the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore with the intent of providing a better understanding of the origins and structure of the Baptistery, as well as important information regarding its state of conservation.
Prof. Seracini described how georadar investigations on the floor of the Baptistery, in areas not previously studied, revealed the presence of a large circular structure, approximately 85 centimeters below the floor, on the side where Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise are located.
He uses multispectral imaging techniques and the concept of a clinical chart (similar to those used in medicine) to record the state of conservation of architectural monuments, while creating the basis for new diagnostic and conservation strategies.
This type of study of the underlying layers of the Baptistery enables scholars and conservators to understand the origins of the Baptistery, including its Roman foundations, the transformations undergone over the centuries, and vital information regarding its state of conservation (e.g. the degree of adhesion of the tiles that decorate it).