Dealing with a Cradled Panel Painting

Author: Paulina Węgrzyn
Mentors: Aleksandra Hola, PhD, Assistant Professor (Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow); Charles Indekeu, Reader (University of Antwerp)

Department of Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art, Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow (Poland)
Study programme: Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art MA Programme
Specialization: Paintings (4th year of study)

WEGRZYN PaulinaAbstract

The main subject of the presentation is the conservation-restoration of a 17th-century Flemish panel painting with historic cradling. The treatment was done during Erasmus+ Exchange Program in Antwerp, Belgium, in the winter semester of 2017/18. The first part of the presentation discusses the very idea and the disadvantages of the traditional cradling and the problems that the system causes, considering several attempts that were undertaken in the 20th century conservation practice to improve it. To understand the problem better three test panels with various types of auxiliary panel construction were made and analysed. The results of the analyses are presented here. The second part of the article focuses on the possibilities of intervention on the cradling. In the case of the 17th century Flemish panel painting, it was decided to remove the faulty cradling. The process and the effect of its removal are described in details.

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Short biography

PAULINA WĘGRZYN is a student of Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art (masters program) at Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts, Cracow, Poland (2014–2020); member and secretary of the Student Research Circle at Jan Matejko Academy (2016–present); beneficiary of  Erasmus+ Exchange Programme at University of Antwerp, Belgium (winter semester of 2017/18); participant of several summer internships (conservation of wall paintings), volunteer for Academic Ministry and Polish charity organizations; coordinator of various workshops for children, artistic projects and exhibitions.