The painting of the “Madonna of Brando” is coming home
Note from the editor: I wrote and published this article in Italian language for the website Corsicaoggi.com. I thought this information might interest you so I gave it a quick translation.
The painting of the “Madonna of Brando” has been in the spotlight for about a year. The 16th-century work, attributed to Italian artists Simone da Firenze and Rocco di Bartolomeo, was kept for three centuries in the Brando convent before being purchased in 1839 by French collector Albin Chalandon. In March 2023, the heirs of the Chalandon family planned to auction the painting, valued between 200 and 300,000 euros.
The Madonna of Brando is considered by the island’s population to be part of the common heritage, and the announcement of its being put up for sale caused great emotion. The Collectivity of Corsica therefore took the necessary actions to block the sale, proving with a document the illicit nature of the transaction that took place in 1839 between the parish priest of Brando and Albin Chalandon. This evidence was accepted by the Ministry of Culture, which cancelled at the last minute the auction that was to take place at the prestigious Hotel Drouot in Paris.
The Madonna of Brando will soon be in Corsica
The Collectivity of Corsica then initiated the process of returning the work to the island, which has now been completed. A memorandum of understanding has been signed between Albin Chalandon’s heirs, the auction house, and the municipality of Brando, which will regain ownership of the work. The agreement provides compensation of 350,000 euros to the Chalandon family for preserving the painting for nearly two centuries. The protocol will soon be put to a vote in the Corsican Assembly and should be a formality, with the majority of politicians agreeing on the need to keep the painting in Corsica. The Collectivity of Corsica will contribute 280,000 euros to the compensation, while the remaining 70,000 euros will come from donations collected by the Fondation du Patrimoine.
Interviewed by France 3 Corse, the Culture Councillor Antonia Luciani said “Thanks to this protocol and the agreement between the various parties, we can be sure that the Madonna of Brando will return to Corsica.” She added: “We are preparing and arranging for the Museum of Corsica to be the custodian of the painting so that it can be kept in the safest possible conditions, but also with a special box with temperatures suitable for its preservation. Once a year, the municipality of Brando will be able to use it during Holy Week. During pilgrimages, those who wish to see the altarpiece will be able to do so directly in one of Brando’s churches.“
–Source : France 3 Corse via Corsicaoggi.com. Featured image : turquin.fr