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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Short biography

NADJA ŠIČAROV completed a bachelor's degree in Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art at the University of Ljubljana in 2015. During her studies she undertook an internship at the National Museum of Slovenia. When her internship ended, Nadja continued to work on a variety of projects related to conservation-restoration of glass and ceramics; this started two years ago and has continued up until now. Nadja has a strong interest in conservation of AV heritage, and is involved in several projects at the Slovenian Cinematheque. She is currently studying for master's degree in Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art at the University of Ljubljana.