The restoration of the paintings in the Oratory was completed in 2015 with the restoration of “Blessed Gerard Tending to the Sick” and “The Miracle of the Loaves”, which are part of a set of ten paintings commissioned by Prior Lomellini and executed by Mattia Preti in 1680.
The two paintings were removed from their frames and were placed in the restoration laboratory of the Co-Cathedral. Photographic surveys were carried out with the use of raking light, UV light and IR light, whereas a morphological survey was then carried out using the RTI technique.
The painting had two frames: a narrow wooden frame and a wider decorative wooden frame attached to the wall. The first ones were not original and they were replaced with the gilding technique, which was the same used on the previous original frames. The wider decorative frames were constructed in wood and finished with white paint and water gilding. Both of the frames were damaged, especially the one holding the painting Blessed Gerard Tending to the Sick. The frames were restored in site. The surface was cleaned using different solvents for both the gilding and the painted areas.
The restoration intervention of the painting depicting The Miracle of the Loaves was possible thanks to the sponsorship of The Maltese Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Blessed Gerard Tending to the Sick was due to the kind sponsorship of The M.Demajo Group. The restoration intervention was entrusted to Prevarti Co. Ltd.