Conservation-Restoration of Matej Otoni's Wooden Polychrome Antependium from the Church of Saint Catherine in Osič

Author: Elena Jurić, diploma in conservation-restoration
Mentor: Jurica Matijević, Assistant Professor

Arts Academy, University of Split


juric elenaWooden painted antependium with the image of St. Catherine is a part of the inventory of the church of St. Kate in a village called Tugare near Split. It was created by Matej Otoni in the late 17th century. Antependium was originally placed in front of  the main altar but it was moved during the church renovation sometime in the 80s of the last century and stored in a nearby house where it was left in inappropriate conditions for decades. Wood was cracked and damaged by anobiid beetles. A part of a lower board and some parts of the molded frame were missing. The painted layer was covered with a thick layer of surface dirt and in some parts of the painting residues of the old, yellowed varnish were found. Surface dirt and varnish residues were removed with solvents. Some parts of the antependium were overpainted. These overpaints were cleaned mechanically and chemically. Cracks in the wood were repaired and missing parts of the molded frame were reconstructed. Missing painted layer was reconstructed and finally the finishing coat of polish was applied. 
After extensive interventions of conservation and restoration the antependium was returned to the church, in front the main altar. This project of conservation and restoration is a part of a wider project of restoring the original inventory of St. Kate’s church.


Click here to read the paper online (Croatian only).