Alberto Argenton and Giuseppe Basile (2003), Restoration and the Psychology of Art: An Occasion to Test out Cesare Brandi’s “theory of Restoration”, in G. Basile (ed.), Restoration of Scrovegni Chapel. Surveys, project, results, Skira, Ginevra-Milano, 544-558.
The purpose of this essay is to illustrate the nature and principal aspects that characterise the relationship, both theoretical and practical, existing between the complex subject of restoration and the research tradition, mainly in the Gestalt field, dealing with the psychology of the perception of the visual arts, that is part of the wider and more general field of the study of the psychology of art.
We will try to show how this relationship, at a theoretical level, contains pertinent links of a conceptual type and also common problematic questions, while at a practical level, it leads to useful exchanges and reciprocal comparison.
We will exemplify this by means of several elements regarding the restoration of the Scrovegni Chapel frescoed by Giotto. While limiting treatment to the visual arts, painting in particular, our main reference, as far restoration is concerned, will be the works of Cesare Brandi and, for the psychology of art, the works of Rudolf Arnheim.