Presentation of the Work on Wall Painting Conservation Projects in Ladakh, North India (2015, 2017)

Author: Klára Kolářová
Mentor: Adam Pokorný, PhD, Assistant Professor

Art Conservation Department, Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (Czech Republic)
Study programme: Third-Cycle Doctoral Programme of Study in Conservation-Restoration
Specialization: Wall Paintings, Easel Paintings and Polychrome Sculpture (2nd year of study)


KOLAROVA KlaraThe paper presents a part of the author’s dissertation entitled "The Conservation of wall paintings made on earthen support,  by the eastern tradition, or by technique a secco", which focuses on different approaches and practices used in wall painting restoration. The wall paintings which are presented here were executed on a non-lime based support, with paintings done mainly a secco. In the restoration of wall paintings on earthen support there are some damages which are fairly similar to the ones found on frescos, as well as the completely different ones, both of which are discussed here. The main reasons of degradation are the monument's location itself, which implies extreme climates and natural disasters (earthquakes, fires and floods). Further damages are due to natural degradation process and sensitivity of the original materials.  Other degradations are caused by lack of maintenance and human actions such as the use for ritual purposes, the use of butter lamps, regular touching etc.,  and tourism. The paper presents two case studies of wall paintings in Ladakh, north India (supported by Tibet Heritage Fund), including the restoration treatments (which consisted in the consolidation of the paint layer, grouting, cleaning and infilling)  ethic dilemmas, the applied methods and the used materials.

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Short biography

KLÁRA KOLÁŘOVÁ was born in 1988, at Prachatice (Czech Republic). In 2015 she gained a master’s degree at the Studio for Restoration of Paintings and Polychrome Sculptures, the Academy of Fine Arts, Prague (AVU). In 2013 she went on an Erasmus internship at the Institut national du patrimoine francais, Paris. Since 2016 she is a Ph.D. student (the issue of wall paintings) at AVU, working under the supervision of professor Karel Stretti. She has participated in international projects of wall painting restoration (Humor, Romania; Ladakh, India). She currently lives, studies and works mainly in Prague. She cooperates with The City of Prague Museum and the National Gallery in Prague.