Raphael attributed officially as artist behind putto fresco fragment in collection of Rome academy.
A fragment of fresco in the collection of Rome's Academy of S. Luca has been confirmed as the work of High Renaissance master Raffaello Sanzio (1483-1520), reports Italian news agency ANSA.
The attribution is the result of a research and conservation project financed by the Patrons of the Galleria Borghese - Roman Heritage Onlus, carried out on the 500th anniversary of the artist's death.
The confirmation follows a cleaning of the fresco panel which was donated to the prestigious Roman academy by the French Neoclassical painter and art collector Jean-Baptiste Wicar in 1834.
The finding brings to an end a debate over the attribution of the piece which some claimed was a 19th-century forgery, ANSA reports.
The element of doubt surrounding the fragment of fresco was "heavily compounded" by a poorly conducted restoration in the 1960s which obscured the quality of the work.
However, following the results of the latest cleaning, experts were left in no doubt that the fresco was by the hand of Raphael.
Restorers say the fragment is "completely compatible with the technique used by Raphael" and that "it can be said with certainty that the work is traceable back to Raffaello Sanzio."
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Rome fresco fragment is by Raphael, experts confirm
Piazza Accademia di S. Luca, 77, 00187 Roma RM, Italy