Reverse painting on glass from the National Museum of Slovenia collection: issues and proposed conservation-restoration solutions

SICAROV posterAuthor: Nadja Šičarov
Mentors: Associate Professor Tamara Trček Pečak, MA, and Assistant Professor Blaž Šeme, PhD
Fieldwork mentor: Gorazd Lemajič, MA (National Museum of Slovenia)

Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Ljubljana (Slovenia)
Study programme: Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art
Specialization: Paintings and polychrome sculptures (1st year of the Master's programme)

Abstract

The paper is an abridged version of my undergraduate thesis, which was submitted to the Academy of Fine Arts and Design of the University of Ljubljana in June 2014. The thesis presents the problems I faced in attempting to conserve and restore the reverse painting on glass The Adoration of the Magi held by the National Museum of Slovenia. I begin by detailing the history and technique of The Adoration of the Magi before describing its blistered paint and other damage. Two ethically acceptable choices of conservation and restoration of the piece are discussed next: one is its full conservation-restoration, the other, only its preventive conservation. After deciding for the former, multiple trial attempts at cleaning the painting and consolidating its paint with different adhesives proved unsuccessful because they only partially removed the blistering. Since the use of adhesive would not have cleared the blisters and would therefore have caused unnecessary damage, I instead decided to create a case capable of securely storing the fractured painting. I also propose climate conditions under this painting, and others like it, can be stored.

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Read more: Reverse painting on glass from the National Museum of Slovenia collection: issues and proposed...

XRF scanning as the perfect way of investigating well preserved objects

BRZOZOWSKI posterAuthor: Karol Brzozowski
Mentors: Associate Professor Małgorzata Walczak, PhD, Professor Grażyna Korpal, Michał Plotek, MA

Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts, Cracow (Poland)
Study programme: Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art
Specialization: Paintings (5th year of study)

Abstract

The poster describes how X-ray Fluorescence Scanner works, and presents the results of an investigation carried out by means of this useful device. The object studied was a XVI-century (?) copy after Andrea del Sarto, depicting Madonna and Child with St. John the Baptist and the Saints (oil on wood). The painting was also the author’s graduation (Master degree) project. A good state of preservation of the paint layer was an important argument for investigating it, in the first step, by an XRF Scanner, as this method is at the same time effective and non-invasive. The device, which serves to detect elements contained in an object, is able to create a map of elements’ distribution throughout the object, with the resolution under 1 millimetre. The results appeared to be extremely useful in the interpretation of the pigments used and the painter’s technique. Moreover, extensive retouches and overpaintings were revealed.  (Further research, however, may be necessary to check some doubts.) The XRF scanning proved to be a perfect method to start an investigation with. The potentially invasive removing of samples from the object, which is to follow, will be done with a much greater responsibly, as we will know precisely what kind of information we are looking for.

Click here to view the poster. (PDF // 1.85 MB)

Read more: XRF scanning as the perfect way of investigating well preserved objects

XRF macro scanning as a first step of non-invasive investigation of the works of art

BIZON posterAuthor: Katarzyna Bizon
Mentors: Associate Professor Małgorzata Walczak, PhD, Michał Płotek, MA, and Associate Professor Jarosław Adamowicz, PhD

Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts, Cracow (Poland)
Study programme: Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art
Specialization: Paintings (5th year of study)

Abstract

The poster focuses on the presentation of the non-invasive examination of objects by Macro Scanner XRF and interpretation of the gathered results. The studied object is a panel painting An Old Testament Scene by Jacob Willemszoon de Wet, a Dutch painter from the XVII century. It is also the graduation work of the author of the poster. The investigation was carried out as the first step in the research and it was very helpful for the revealing of the now invisible parts of the composition. The Biblical scene painted by the Dutch painter is dark and shows signs  of overcleaning. This is especially true of the background, which is hardly recognizable under dark, opaque and partially overcleaned varnish layers. The poster presents the conclusions reached after the examination of the painting by XRF, but before any invasive research being taken, which is needed to receive full information about the work. 

Click here to view the poster. (PDF // 2.05 MB)

Read more: XRF macro scanning as a first step of non-invasive investigation of the works of art

Amphorae, then and now

DRAGICEVIC posterAuthor: Francis Dragičević
Mentor: Lecturer Miona Miliša, PhD

Arts Academy in Split (Croatia)
Study programme: Integrated undergraduate and graduate course of study in conservation-restoration
Specialization: Archaeological heritage (4th year of study)

Abstract

In ancient times amphorae were in daily use. They were mainly containers used for the storage and transport of oil, wine, dried fruit... This is why they were produced in vast numbers. Most of them are similar in shape. Some of them are, however, different, and this difference in shape is due to the type of product they were intended for. The eastern side of the Adriatic Sea was a busy maritime route and many cargo ships ended their journey at its bottom. So far, Croatian coastal waters have yielded as many as 44 recorded archaeological sites containing amphorae of the older and younger Greco-Italic types. The vast number of the finds has led to the conclusion that part of them have been produced locally. In some cases the stoppers, which usually contain the mark of the workshop in which the amphora was produced, have survived. The big problem of these sites are insufficient resources for their protection. Therefore, the easy access and inadequate protection against plunder are the main reason of their vulnerability. The desire to possess something unique has led to the development of an important black market, so much so that of 30,000 stolen objects recorded by the Ministry of Culture, amphorae represent the largest group. Many of them were illicitly taken from the sea and sold, and now need serious conservation treatment, without which they will perish.

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Read more: Amphorae, then and now

Jakovlje Mansion and Sculpture Park, Croatia

JUKOPILA LOCHERT posterAuthors: Eni Jukopila and Martina Lochert
Mentor: Assistant Professor Alen Novoselec, MA

Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb (Croatia)
Study programme: Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art
Specialization: Sculpture (4th and 5th year of study)

Abstract

The conservation and restoration project of Jakovlje mansion and sculpture park was conceived as practical training for students of the 3rd, 4th and 5th years of study, under the mentorship of professor Alen Novoselec. Jakovlje mansion and its sculpture park are situated beneath the northern slopes of the Croatian Mount Medvednica, in the settlement and municipality of the same name. The Mansion was built in three phases, from the 16th century to after the earthquake in 1880, when it  was renovated and redesigned in the Historicist style. The conservation-restoration works were initiated primarily to prevent further deterioration of the complex. The Renovation project included the reconstruction of the mansion’s north wing, the renovation of the wooden joinery, the conservation-restoration of the architectural plastic and decoration and the renovation of the Sculpture Park. The poster presents the investigative works and the conservation-restoration works preformed so far on the mansion’s architectural stuccowork and decoration, as well as on two sculptures in Jakovlje Sculpture Park.

 Click here to view the poster. (PDF // 4.83 MB)

Read more: Jakovlje Mansion and Sculpture Park, Croatia

The conservation-restoration of the wall painting "Life, suffering and struggle of the people in the birthplace of President Josip Broz Tito from the Middle Ages to the World War II" by Raoul Goldoni at the Museum of Yugoslav History

CULIBRK posterAuthors: Aleksandar Ćulibrk, Ana-Marija Spasenović, Mila Vranješ and Dragana Vicentijević 
Mentor: Professor Radomir Samardžić, MA

Faculty of Applied Arts, Belgrade (Serbia)
Study programme: Conservation and restoration
Specialization: Wall paintings and mosaics (one-year Master's programme)

Abstract

This poster presents the conservation-restoration of the 1963 wall painting by Raul Goldoni entitled Life, Suffering and Struggle of the people in President Josip Broz Tito’s Homeland, From the Middle Ages Till the Second World War. The painting is located in the first floor lobby of the Museum of Yugoslav History, measuring 14.6 m x 4.4 m, and occupying a surface of 64,24 m2. During the October Salon exhibition in 1996, the painting was covered with a canvas panel which was placed on a wooden frame. At the beginning of 2011 the panel was removed. After completing the conservation-restoration project for the wall painting, as the result of cooperation between the Institute for Protection of Cultural Monuments and the Faculty of Applied Arts, Department of Conservation and Restoration, conservation-restoration works took place. Based on the research works, it was concluded that the painting was in an extremely poor condition. Present works on this wall painting implies a complete conservation and restoration treatment.

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Read more: The conservation-restoration of the wall painting "Life, suffering and struggle of the people in...

The letter in a bottle

CVITANOVIC VOKIC posterAuthors: Nikolina Cvitanović and Marin Vokić
Mentor: Expert Associate Sanja Serhatlić

University of Dubrovnik, Department of Art and Restoration
Study programme: Conservation and Restoration
Specialization: Paper (1st year of the Master's programme)

Abstract

The poster talks about the process of restoration of two letters found inside a wall of Saint Mark’s Cathedral on the island of Korčula which have been there sealed inside a bottle and built in a wall for over a hundred years. Some history of the letters themselves is given as well as what is written on them to show that objects which we get to restore sometimes have a pretty interesting and big history behind them. The accent of the poster is put on the story behind the letters and the state before, during and after restoration process.

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Read more: The letter in a bottle

11th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE CONSERVATION-RESTORATION STUDIES, ZAGREB 2014

Below you will find posters (in PDF format) that were presented at the 11th International Conference of the Conservation-Restoration Studies.

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Interpretation of pattern on chasuble inv. no. 5A

nevzala-posterAuthor: Petar Nevžala 
Mentor: Danijela Jemo, Teaching Assistant; Mateo Miguel K. Kesovia, Teaching Assistant

University of Dubrovnik, Art and Restoration Department (Croatia)
Undergraduate Programme in Conservation-Restoration (BA)
Specialization: Conservation-restoration of textile, 3rd study year

Summary
Chasuble is part of a set of liturgical vestments from the church of St. Mary on Lokrum. Poster was created as a result of the first stage of preventive conservation and it is about interpretation of pattern on chasuble inv. no. 5A. It was analyzed the historical context of appearance of similar patterns, the impact of waveing technology on the quality of design and it was made iconographical and iconological interpretation. Comparing with similar examples it is given conclusion how such an analysis can be helpful in the dating of objects and determining its historical and artistic value.

 

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Read more: Interpretation of pattern on chasuble inv. no. 5A

Identification, conservation and restoration of the wall painting situated in the cloister of the Sanctuary of the Our Lady Queen of Families in Wambierzyce

zejler-posterAuthor: Wiktoria Zejler
Mentor: Mieczysław Stec, Associate Professor

Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków (Poland)
Study programme: Conservation and Restoration of Art 
Specialization: Conservation-restoration of  paintings, 6th study year
  

Summary
A poster was made to present almost the whole process of conservation and restoration of the mural painting. It includes: research investigating the presence of hidden mural paintings, uncovering, removal of overpainting layers, cleaning, chemical analysis and, at present stage, technical reinforcement. These steps made possible an iconographic investigation in order to find an analogy in history of art and to visualize how it propably looked in the past. The whole work was supported by research in documentation, in literature, in history of Basilica in Wambierzyce - a multicultural pilgrime and tourist centre. Theoretical and chemical examination confirms a hypothesis about dating of the object, its authorship and the provenance of a local painter.

 

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Read more: Identification, conservation and restoration of the wall painting situated in the cloister of the...

Conservation and restoration of wooden marionettes from the play The Strike Brigade

kalan-posterAuthor: Zala Kalan
Mentor: Miladi Makuc Semion, Associate Profesor; Ana Motnikar, Higher Professional Associate 

University of Ljubljana, Academy of Fine Arts and Design (Slovenia)
Conservation and restoration of works of art (MA) 

Summary
We have performed the conservation and restoration work on the marionettes from the puppet play The Strike Brigade. It’s premiere, which was also the inaugural performance of the newly established puppet theatre in Ljubljana (present Lutkovno gledališče Ljubljana). The conservation and restoration of marionettes was tackled integrally, bearing in mind that they would become museum exhibits and would no longer carry out their original function - performing on stage. The questions that were raised during the work were: To what extent should we interfere with the marionettes? How much of patina should we remove? Should we fill the gaps or conserve and restore them exclusively according to their existing condition, maintaining any damage as a historical document of a period of time? We decided to intervene in the marionettes only so far as to slow their further decay and stabilise the damage, restoring only their most obtrusive parts.

 

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Christ crucified- wooden, polychrome sculpture from the Dominicans monastery in Cracov- conservation and restoration in the context of a comparative analysis of the state of research and the corresponding animated figures

wozniak-posterAuthor: Wawrzyniec Woźniak
Mentor: Barbara Budziaszek, MA, Senior Lecturer 

Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków (Poland)
Study programme: Conservation and Restoration of Art 
Specialization: Conservation-restoration
 of sculpture

Summary
The issues concearning the object I have chosen are extremely complex, but in this thesis I will restrict myself to perform a technical and easthetic conservation and make an attempt of dating the object (on the basis of the conclusions driven from previously conducted research and analysis). As part of sculpture's conservation it will be closely examined in order to gather information that may help to determine the time frame in which the figure could have been made and to define its style. In the technical and aesthetic consevation I will mainly try to strengthen the object and provide the reconstruction of missing parts to such an extent that it will be able to fulfill its initial function during the Easter time and can be properly exposed in the course of the liturgical year.

 

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Conservation-restoration of Terracotta ring vase - Cypriot collection from Archaeological museum of Dubrovnik. Replacement of missing parts: modelling and moulding

manenica-posterAuthor: Romana Manenica
Mentor: Sanja Pujo, mag. art

University of Dubrovnik, Art and Restoration Department (Croatia)
Graduate Programme in Conservation-Restoration (MA)
Specialization: Conservation-restoration of ceramics, 4th study year

Summary
With this poster, we want to introduce you to the conservation and restoration works carried out on a ceramic object with an emphasis on reconstruction of missing parts. Where large areas of damage have occurred, the missing part may cause the object to be structurally weak and visually incomplete. In this case we use molds and hand modelling. The process of reconstructing is showed on a Cypriot terracotta ring vase, which dates to the Middle Bronze Age. The same object reached the Archaeological museum in Dubrovnik by donation from 19. century.
After receiving it, the object was documented, photographed and sketches were made to show parts which needed to be reconstructed and linked(that was done in the program Adobe Illustrator). It was noted that there have been previous restorations. Glossy coating and adhesive residues were found; which were then removed and the object was cleaned. Whole treatment was done with accent on reconstruction of missing parts using molds and modelling. At the end, some reconstructed parts were retouched.
The goal of this reconstruction was to stabilize the object and to show how it looked before the breakage. This poster shows a few ways to reconstruct that could be useful for other types of ceramic objects that need to be reconstructed.

 

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Read more: Conservation-restoration of Terracotta ring vase - Cypriot collection from Archaeological...

Conservation and restoration of 19th century casket including reconstruction of the missing elements in the material imitating bone

gorka-posterAuthor: Izabela Górka-Zygier
Mentor: Ireneusz Płuska, Professor

Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków (Poland)
Study programme: Conservation and Restoration of Art 
Specialization: Conservation-restoration of 
sculpture, 6th study year
 

Summary
The poster presents the conservation of a durable but also sensitive material - bone (cattle). It is one of the main issues of the restoration of a composite structure object: a 19th century casket made of walnut wood, silk damask and bone. The aim to reconstruct the missing plaques was the reason to develop the technique and technology of a bone imitation. Using various materials, many attempts were made and both epoxy and polyester (tinted with the pigments), most transparent and liquid resins were proved to be the best. It was important to choose the right material, capable to perform the castings and to imitate the color and the structure of a bone. The plaques have to be durable and resistant to the light. As part of the diploma the conservation of a 19th century silk damask and wood - part of the caskets construction is beeng performed.

 

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Conservation aspects and methods applied on several medieval parchment fragments

zelenak et-al-posterAuthors: Orsolya Zelenák, Júlia Tövissi and Tamás Sipos
Mentors: Márta Kissné Bendefy, Head of Leather Specialization, and Katalin Orosz DLA, Head of Paper Specialization

Hungarian University of Fine Arts (Hungary)
Study programme: Conservation of Applied Arts Objects
Specialization: Conservation-restoration of paper and leather, 4th study year

Summary
Several medieval parchment fragments from the collection of the Dept. of Manuscripts of the Library and Information Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest were restored by the fourth year students of the Specialization of Paper and Leather Conservation. These objects present latine handwritten texts on both sides, blue headings, red rubrics and in one case a figurative polichrome initial decoration too. It seems that they made part originally of different codices and were reused afterwards as bookcovers. Due to the changes of the moisture content the fragments had become dehidratated, rigid, unpliable and deformed. The goal of the conservation was to perform on the parchments only those interventions that are necessary for the preservation, readability and the interpretability of the contained information (handwritten texts and illustrations). The poster aimed to present the main problems observed during the conservation process of the fragments and it summerises some of the most adequate methods for protecting them for the future.

 

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The problems of historical alterations in the cassone type chest using the example of the conservation of the 16th century Italian chest

jarek-posterAuthor: Piotr Jarek
Mentor: Professor Grażyna Korpal

Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków (Poland)
Study programme: Conservation and Restoration of Art 
Specialization: Conservation-restoration of 
paintings

Summary
The topic of my poster is the remedial conservation and partial restoration of an Italian cassone type chest. It most likely comes from the 16th century and currently belongs to the Wawel Royal Castle State Art Collection in Kraków. The chest has been bought by Leon Piniński in 1929 in Venice. As the front panel has only been faintly preserved, its constructions, decorative values and aesthetic arrangement are topics of great interest. Another fascinating problem is that the particular elements of the chest have been made at different times.
I would like to focus on the problem of the conservation and restoration of the chest, including:
• Dismount of the chosen element of the piece.
• Impregnation of the wood.
• Cleaning of the polychrome, the gold plating and the wooden elements.
• Resealing of the loosening paint layers.
• Filling in the missing layers of ground and paint.
• Adding the missing gold foil and blending the colours.
• Research aiming to date the particular elements of the chest.
The so called historical conservation used in the case of this chest pushes us to consider the problems of respecting and dealing with earlier interferences to the object, which are valuable witnesses to history.

 

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Read more: The problems of historical alterations in the cassone type chest using the example of the...

Canon Tables

lochert-posterAuthor: Martina Lochert
Mentors: Zvjezdana Jembrih, Associate Professor; Ana Božičević, Teaching Assistant 

University of Zagreb, Academy of Fine Arts (Croatia)
Integrated study programme: Conservation and Restoration of Art
Specialization: Conservation-restoration of sculpture, 4th study year

Summary
Poster presents research done on the theme of canon tables, explains their liturgical usage and shows conservation and restoration works on canon tables from the Chapel of St. Phillip and Jacob in Gradišće near Samobor and the Church of St. Thomas the Apostle in Gornji Rajić near Novska. 
Tree canon tables from the chapel of St. Philip and Jacob are a topic of research for final thesis of student Petra Lulić. Frames of these tables are over painted with inadequate material which will be removed after consultation with the competent Department of Conservation, after which they will be returned to the chapel. 
Canon table from the church of St. Thomas the Apostle from Gornji Rajić is the only remaining part of the church inventory after the Serb-Croatian war (1991- 1995). Complete conservation and restoration works were done on Department for Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art by a student Martina Lochert, and they shall be returned to the Diocesian Museum in Zagreb. 
All papers with canon texts from canon tables where found in very bad shape. Their conservation and restoration was done in cooperation with Department for Paper and Leather of Croatian restoration Institute.

 

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Read more: Canon Tables

Preventive Conservation in the Church of St. Joseph (Lazarus) on the Island of Čiovo

milic-k-posterAuthor: Karmen Milić
Mentor: Sagita Mirjam Sunara, Assistant Professor

University of Split, Arts Academy in Split (Croatia)
Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate Program in Conservation-Restoration
2nd year

Summary
In April 2013 first-year conservation-restoration students of the Arts Academy in Split participated in a preventive conservation project in the Church of St. Joseph, formerly St. Lazarus, on the island of Čiovo near Trogir. The church, which was erected in the early 15th century and later expanded, holds a very rich collection of artworks. Most of the movable inventory is kept in the attic of the church. The objects were improperly stored, and it was the students' task to clean out the attic, sort through the material and store the objects neatly on shelves.
The project was organized as a one-day practical activity in the course Introduction to Conservation-Restoration of Easel Paintings and Polychrome Wood 2. Assistant Professor Sagita Mirjam Sunara and Teaching Assistant Lana Kekez organized and supervised the work.

 

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Read more: Preventive Conservation in the Church of St. Joseph (Lazarus) on the Island of Čiovo

Preventive Conservation in the Church of St. Joseph (Lazarus) on the Island of Čiovo: The short version

nizetic-posterAuthor: Josip Nižetić
Mentor: Sagita Mirjam Sunara, Assistant Professor

University of Split, Arts Academy in Split (Croatia)
Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate Program in Conservation-Restoration 
2nd year

Summary
This poster describes a preventive conservation project in the Church of St. Joseph (St. Lazarus) on the island of Čiovo, undertaken in the academic year 2012/2013 as a one-day practical activity in the course Introduction to Conservation-Restoration of Easel Paintings and Polychrome Wood 2.
The collection of moveable objects of the Church of St. Joseph comprises over one hundred objects, most of which are stored in the attic of the church. As the project had no budget, only basic preventive conservation measures were undertaken. The attic was thoroughly cleaned. The objects were dusted, surface dirt was removed and the paint stabilized. The objects were photographed and then neatly stored on new wooden shelving.

 

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Read more: Preventive Conservation in the Church of St. Joseph (Lazarus) on the Island of Čiovo: The short...

"The Meadow of Your Body" - conservation of contemporary artwork made using polymer foam

hanusek-posterAuthor: Oskar Hanusek
Mentor: Grażyna Korpal, Professor

Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków (Poland)
Study programme: Conservation and Restoration of Art 
Specialization: Conservation-restoration of 
paintings, 6th study year  

Summary
The Meadow of Your Body was made by Maria Pinińska-Bereś in 1987. It is a horizontal, contemporary sculpture, with one element soft, made of cotton fabric. Originally it was filled with a "mattress" made of a sheet of polyurethane foam. The surface of the sculpture is covered with pink acrylic paint. The color and shape refers to the issues characteristic of Pinińska’s creations – femininity, feminism and eroticism. The main problem is the degradation of the polyurethane filling, which entirely lost its shape, density, elasticity and softness. Therefore the work of art lost its principal attributes.
In a broad archive of the artist, one can find detailed instructions about conservation treatments and specifications (also ideological) of used materials. The principal task was to remove the old filling, and replace it with a new material - that fulfils the artist’s ideas but is also durable. During the work, also other problems raised like the recognition of artist’s technology or the cleaning of acrylic surfaces. A poster was made to present the artist, the work itself and its conservation.

 

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Read more: "The Meadow of Your Body" - conservation of contemporary artwork made using polymer foam