Transposition of Portable Wall Painting from the Fund of Studenica Monastery

Author: Magdalena Drobnjaković
Mentor: Radomir Samardzić, MA Professor

Department of Conservation and restoration, Faculty of Applied Arts, University of Arts in Belgrade (Serbia)
Conservation and Restoration
Specialization: Paintings (5th year of study)

In 19th century, the wall paintings in the Church of Virgin Mary in Studenica were painted over. As they did not satisfy the artistic and aesthetic qualities and did not coincide with the interior of the church, these new wall paintings were removed in 1951 by the experts from the Republic Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage from Belgrade. Many of these wall paintings were fragmented and instilled in plaster. The team of students from the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade performed complete conservation, restoration and presentation of one of these fragments. Transposition of this fragment consisted of many complex procedures, tests and analysis. The process included the removal of inadequate plaster support, conservation and restoration on newly revealed parts, finding a compatible adhesive, new support and frame. By researching previous similar works and their experience with new materials and supports, lime mortar was chosen as an adhesive while extruded polystyrene was used as a support. Using reliable and tested materials at all stages of the process, wall painting was provided stability, so the possibility of damage due to many external factors was reduced. After the fragment was completely preserved and restored it was returned to the Studenica Monastery.

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Short biography

MAGDALENA DROBNJAKOVIĆ studied conservation and restoration at Faculty of Applied arts in Belgrade, Department of Conservation and restoration of paintings where she achieved MA degree. She took part in several group exhibitions, both local and international, was a part of a team working on conservation and restoration of wall paintings in Studenica Monastery and mosaics on the archaeological site Justiniana Prima. Currently she is working as an intern in The National Museum of Serbia.