The Convitto Nazionale Cicognini is the oldest educational institution run by the State in the city of Prato. Founded in 1692 by the Jesuits, it was for centuries a font of culture and education to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in the Kingdom of Italy (now the Italian Republic). For three centuries men of letters, statesmen, poets, and administrators have issued forth from it’s doors rich in the wealth of education. Among the many illustrious ex students of the College are: Gabriele D’Annunzio, Curzio Malaparte, Bettino Ricasoli, and Cesare Guasti. This notable boarding school is housed in an enormous building designed by the Jesuit Giovan Battista Origoni .
The lobby and the main entrance were built by the architect Giuseppe Valentini of Prato. The remarkable refectory was frescoed by Giacinto Fabbroni in 1754 with scenes from the Bible, the eighteenth-century chapel with handsome wood interior and fittings, and the theatre, (originally the school’s church, it was converted into a theatre during the period of secularization of the school).
The restoration of wall paintings in the refectory necessitated a series of diagnostics and scientific investigation to extend and deepen knowledge of the material composition and the technical execution of the wall paintings. Subsequently, steps were taken to safeguard the painted surface which had been cleaned and treated in advance for the extraction of soluble salts and this was followed by consolidation of the wall decoration.
Last of all a chromatic revision intervention to permit a homogeneous and clear reading of the work was performed. The delicate operation of restoration and conservation of wooden furniture in the refectory, in particular with respect to fixtures and fittings such as benches and doors was also made.