Cattedra Cicognara: Furniture Conservation Appeal
The President of the Accademia's Empire style official chair and table described together as the 'Cattedra Cicognara' are key pieces of Venetian furniture for the history of the Accademia and for Venice in the post-Napoleonic era. They were made when Leopoldo Cicognara was its President between 1806-27, in which role he also raised funds from across Europe for the Cenotaph to Antonio Canova in the Basilica of the Frari, a major Venice in Peril Fund project.
The Cattedra Cicognara was designed by Giuseppe Borsato in 1771 and is illustrated as the frontispiece for his book of designs Opera Ornamentale of 1831.
The Cattedra Cicognara, which had been in storage in the Accademia and was in urgent need of conservation, was restored during the latter half of 2015 in the Milan studio of restorer Luca Quartana. It needed structural repair, consoliation and conservation of the frames, replacement of missing carved ornament and mounts on the chair and table. The furniture is made of walnut with carving and gilt mounts and the table has porphyry inserts at each end. It is now back at the Accademia and installed in the Tablino, the Palladio interior and the last in the sequence of new rooms opening on 30 January 2016.