Guido and Maria Rosa, 68 years of life and work together: they are the ones who started the restoration activity, immediately after the war.
They married in 1946; Maria Rosa is only 16, Guido 25.
Deeply in love with Guido, Maria Rosa leaves the comfortable life that allowed her to study classical dance and piano and begins with him an exciting adventure made of love, but also of hard work by his side.
Guido, the last of seven children, left Aramengo, his native country and with all his savings, opened a small barber shop in Turin, Napione street, which allowed him to earn enough to live. The father of Maria Rosa, Giovanni Borri, appreciated painter, restorer and antiquarian in Turin and Genoa, noted Guido's keen interest in art, gave him the opportunity to attend the atelier of some good restorers in Turin, Giulio Nicoli Angelo Abossetti, a skilled painter and Ettore Patrito, a chemist and restorer, at the forefront of those years. From this last one, Guido assimilates the scientific approach to the artwork which will be an essential point in the development of his laboratory and from which he learns the innovative cleaning techniques. In the back of the barber shop, Guido and Maria Rosa started to work and experience on old war-bombed painting fragments they bought for peanuts at the Baloon, the best-known Turin flea market.
Their skill and sensitivity are soon recognised.
In 1957, they moved to Via Santa Giulia in a larger house (the family increased in the meantime, Gian Luigi was nine years old, and Anna Rosa was born) a large hall is used as a laboratory, but the paintings are everywhere, even in the bedroom.
In those years the first important appointments came from the Piedmontese Government Department for Cultural Heritage.
The work progressively increases, Guido devotes himself to the conservative restoration of canvases and tables and the stripping and detachment of the frescoes. The company grew and the first collaborators arrived.
Maria Rosa finds out her specialisation: the restoration of works on paper, parchment and fabric. She is outstanding, and her delicate work is much appreciated; Hundreds of drawings pass under her finger, ancient and modern, Chinese panels, wallpapers, banners, embroidery, Asian fabrics.
Meanwhile, the children grew up, Gian Luigi began as a apprentice to work with Guido especially on frescoes, attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Turin and from 1967 take what will become his way: the restoration of archaeological and Egyptian artefacts.
Gianna joined him. She was a former student of Guido and she specialised in the restoration of paintings on canvas. They will marry in 1974.
In 1967 Aramengo's laboratory was born. Guido "escapes" from Turin whenever he could, the solvents used for cleaning, at home and without adequate protections had caused him a bad intoxication and the return to work outdoors is vital.
In the mid-seventies, the collaborators grew up to fifteen, all living in the family with the Nicola, as in an old renaissance workshop sharing in addition to the restoration work also the daily tasks. It is an excellent school of life even for Anna Rosa and for Nicola, her high school companion who infects with her love for the restoration and who will become her husband in 1979.
Anna Rosa, together with her mother, learns the restoration techniques of artworks on paper, techniques that in 1983 will empower in Rome at the Center for Photo Reproduction and Bookbinding. Even as a child, however, she showed a particular attraction for the colours, she stood hours to observe the grandfather painting: her own way will be the reintegrative pictorial restoration.
Nicola learned from Guido the cleaning techniques, from Gian Luigi the conservative interventions on stones, terracotta and frescoes, and from the various technicians, chemists, physicists, radiologists, photographers - who in the seventies and the eighties often get to the laboratory - he acquired the practical skills to carry out non-invasive X-ray, UV and IR instrumental analyses in the laboratory for the correct operation of the restoration.
For a long time and for all of them work and family life are intertwined, for each of the members of the family to find within the laboratory its own breathing space is a continuous reason for growth, meeting and exchange, to the advantage of the artwork, always examined under different points of view.
Alongside the family, some valid collaborators have trained over many years of work and specialise each in a particular sector.
The nephews also joined the staff: since 2004 Alessandro, the eldest son of Gian Luigi and Gianna, architect, has inside the laboratory the role of designer and work both in Italy and abroad, Marco, the second-born, is a chemist and with his own company, (Adamantio Srl) since 2005 performs analysis for Cultural Heritage, and finally Eleonora, daughter of Nicola and Anna Rosa, following in the footsteps of parents, has chosen to develop her innate sensitivity and manual skills by dedicating herself in an operative way to the restoration, both in the laboratory and in external worksites.
Guido, who passed away in 2015 at the age of 93, and Maria Rosa have had the opportunity to reap the benefits of what has been expertly sown; they had the joy of seeing, in addition to their children, son-in-law and daughter-in-law even grandchildren fit into the laboratory they had created, not by party, but by choice, with the satisfaction of being able to transmit with their DNA the love and passion for this extraordinary work.