Madonna of Sorrows, detail ca. 1916, and present day

Restoration controversy

Following the 1953 restoration, Boston artist Ives Gammell expressed outrage at the quality of the cleaning. Upon visiting the Hall after the restoration he wrote that he was “horrified to find that substantial portions of these superb decorations have been...damaged beyond possible repair.” A comparison of a 1916 photograph of Madonna of Sorrows and a present-day image illustrates how previous restorations altered the clarity of some details and affected overall contrast.
1. Madonna of Sorrows, detail, ca. 1916
Boston Public Library
2. Madonna of Sorrows, detail (1999 photo)
The Triumph of Religion