ELLENCONSERVATION


PAINTING CONSERVATION



A 19TH CENTURY STILL LIFE


PRIMA          Dopo

The painting before and after the restoration.

This painting, a private property, was already restored in the past. The surface was cleaned with too agressive solvents, scraping away the color so that the fruit was almost transparent. I removed the oxidized varnish and all the insect's excrements from the surface. I  also renewed the frame with a layer of mecca varnish as asked me by the owner, who loved shinig effects even if not so natural.

FIORI      FIORI DOPO

Details of the flowers before and after the restoration.

 
 CIELO PRIMA   Cielo Dopo

Detail of the sky before and after the restoration.


TAVOLO          TAVOLO DOPO

Detail of the table, before and after the restoration.




A FUTURIST PAINTING


TOTALE         DOPO

The painting before and after the restoration.

Maybe it's wrong to define him a Futurist, but Remo Fabbri was dealing with Carrà and other important artists of that age. The subject was about war. The painting was made with oil medium on a wooden support. Under this layer it was visible another painting realized with water based colours. The oil medium could not adhere properly to the unprepared support, for this reason many large painting losses were located in many areas of the surface. Somebody tried to fix the colour spreading some animal glue on the surface, but this procedure didn't resolve the problem. Moreover, the glue oxidation damaged the aesthetic perception of the colours, which changed their tonalities. With a local cleaning I removed as much glue as possible, then I fixed the clevages on the painting. After that, I filled the losses and painted them with the selection technique. The painting size was 150x90 cm.
 cielo prima    Cielo dopo

The cleaning of the sky unearthed the brush strokes, unvisible under the oxidated varnish. I retouched the putted losses with the color selection technique, making large brushstrokes visible just from a low distance.




A 17TH CENTURY PAINTING


Totale prima           totale finito

The painting before and after the restoration.

The painting, owned by a private, revealed  a phrase written on the back of the canvas. It said that it was already restored  in 1898 by a priest called Botta. I discovered more words using a UV light: "Abbatis Grimane Cappellanus". The strainer's size was adapted to the painting, because it was not the original one. Recycling strainer or frame was quite common in the past. This strainer was certainly made for different purposes: a line of nails on a side was still keeping some fabric fragments. The damaged painting was too short in the upper edge to reach the strainer, so the restorer fixed it in the front, near the Madonna's face, using two nails.  In the painting, under the piles of books, there was a sheet of paper with the inscription "Abbè Grimani" and the date 1678.Thanks to my historical research, I found out that the portrait could be a very important person of  our history. Born in one of the most important families of Venice (the Grimani), Vincenzo grew up with love for culture and music, owning and managing with his family many theaters in the city. He was a man of the Church, but not very faithful. In 1677 he became responsible of an Abbey near Vercelli and since that moment, his prestige and fame grew up. He became a Cardinal, and thanks to the Savoia family, which he served for all his life, he was Viceroy in Naples. In that city, as before, he put a lot of effort calling famous artists in the city.

putto      putto dopo

PuttpThe "putto" before and after the restoration.
     

telaio      telaio dopo

We had to change the strainer, which was too damaged and weak to stretch the canvas. The new stretcher, with keys, will give the right tension to the painting in time.




A PAINTING ON A METAL SUPPORT


Totale inizio       total fine

The painting before and after the restoration.

The small painting, made with water-based color, was a private property. It showed losses of color in many parts of the carachter's faces and bodies. The  metal support was too smooth to help the colour adhesion. I filled the losses spreading very thick colours layers untill I reached the level of the original painting.
famiglia prima       famiglia dopo

Details of the Holy family's faces before and after the restoration.

Bambino       bambino dopo

Detail of the Baby's body before and after the restoration.




A 16TH CENTURY PAINTING


totale prima  totale dopo

The painting before and after the restoration.

This oil painting was a private property. It was restored in the past, making a too aggressive cleaning. Many details of some faces and dresses were lost, so they had to be remade. I didn't work alone, but Gloria Pagini, a very skilled restorer, worked on the faces while I dedicated my time to the background and some dresses. This hard work was possible because the owner, a well known historian and collector, attributed this painting to Rocco Marconi, a Venetian painter. This artist made many versions of this topic," The Adultera" so it was possible to find many examples as inspiration for our intervention.

panneggio Gesù prima    panneggio Gesù dopo

Detail of the Christ's dress before and after the restoration.


dettaglio 1 prima     dettaglio 1 dopo

Detail of the background before and after the restoration.


Dettaglio2 prima   detaglio2 dopo

Detail of the woman figure before and after the restoration.




THE RUSSIAN ICON


  prima       Icona dopo

The painting before and after the restoration.

This Russian manufactured painting, made on wooden panel by an unknown author, came from the Pinacoteca of Budrio, where it was relocated. Ther restoration was made in the laboratory of restoration of painting on wooden support at the Academy of Fine Art of Bologna, under the supervision of Professor Marilena Gamberini. The small panel showed a plastic distortion, a common decay of thinned table of wood. The painting was resized to fit a small, not original and quite damaged frame. On the surface, in a previous intervention of restoration, many details were scraped away through a very aggessive cleaning. My action was calibrated on the real needing of the painting, on which the final varnish was oxidated. I did a very carefull surface cleaning, I filled the losses and I made a retouch with watercolor using the colour selection technique.

ritocco   ritocco2

Detail of the superior edge retoucing.


velo1   velo2

Detail of the Madonna's veil retouching.




A 18TH CENTURY DOOR

prima    dopo    verso prima

The door before and after the restoration.

This was an internal door located in the wonderful Palazzo Tozzoni in Imola, a small city near Bologna. The door was painted with water-based colours on wood, so its cleaning asked particular care because this technique is very sensitive to solvent, especially water. We had to act also on the structure, were few, but deep craks were running through the whole height, along the fibres. We filled it inserting some strings of wood, properly shaped to get into the hole. The work was made by the students of the third and fouth year inside the laboratory of restoration of painting on wooden support of the Academy of Fine Art of Bologna, under the supervision of the Professor. 
dettagio pulitura   dettaglio pulitura   dettaglio pulitura

Details of the cleaning.




THE 18TH CENTURY WOODEN WALL

totale prima     parte centrale prima   parte centrale dopo

The whole wall was dismembered to be moved to the Academy laboratory.

The wooden wall was built in the 18th Century at the end of a corridor of Palazzo Tozzoni to obtain a closed laundry room, which it was accessed by the small door o the right. The door on the left, instead, gave the access at the end of the corridor. Realized with conifer wood, the wall was painted with water-based colours, which in the past were disfigured by rain streaks due to some some problems with the ceiling. Moved to the laboratory of restoration of painting on wooden support in the Academy of Fine Art of Bologna, the single parts were carefully cleaned and then retouched. We had also to isert strings of wood properly shaped to fill some deep cracks due to the wood movements. This long job was made together with the other door, by the students of the third and the fouth year.
porta sinistra prima   porta sinistra dopo   porta destra prima   porta destra dopo

The sides doors before and after the restoration.

particolare prima   particolare dopo

Detail of the restoration on the sides doors.
   
particolare decorazione prima   particolare decorazione dopo

Detail of the decoration in the central panel before and after the restoration.



   
GIANT PAINTINGS

pulitura   pulitura

The dry cleaning of the painting was already partially done, but I finished it. After that, the restorers studied a proper method to fix the painting to the support without compromizing the colour hue.

During my first 300 hours summer practical training at the LABORATORIO DEGLI ANGELI in Bologna, I had the luck of working on huge dimensions canvases coming from San Petronio, the most famous Church of Bologna. The huge canvases, made by Vittorio Maria Bigari, a local painter working in the city in the 18th Century, were located inside a chapel and they looked like frescoes because they were fixed inside a shaped hole, hiding any thickness. The work on them lasted many months, so I partecipated just at some steps, being always supervised by the lab restorers. This few pictures show some of the things I did on these canvases.
innesto   strisce preparazione   strisce applicazione

A very important intervention was flling holes at the edges inserting shaped pieces of canvas. The most tiring was making and fixing the strips to strenghten the canvases edge along the whole perimeter.




THE SYBIL

pulitura  pulitura tween  consolidamento

First superficial cleaning of the painting and local consolidation.

During the same period at the LABORATORIO DEGLI ANGELI, I worked also on some private properties artworks always carefully supervised by the lab's restorers. This 17th Century oil painting made by an unknown author was in good state of conservation. As before, I just show with few pictures the procedures I made on it.



SACRED PAINTING

viso suora prima  viso suora dopo

Detail of a figure before and after the cleaning of the oxidated organic material spread on the surface.

During my second 300 hours practical training at the SOS ART laboratory in Bologna, I was involved in the restoration of some paintings coming from Churces located around the city. This painting was unproperly treated in the past, rubbing some onion on the surface to give brightness to the varnish. Passing the time,  the painting became obscured by the oxidation of the organic material which was very hard to remove. Afterwards, another cleaning was necessary to remove the yellow varnish, chosing different solvent for each color space. I worked on every step of this complicated cleaning with the restorer, Carlotta Scardovi.
sacro cuore pulitura   seconda pulitura

Details of the first and second cleaning.




THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS

stazione 8   dipinto prima   dipinto dopo

La stazione numero 8 della via Crucis prima e dopo l'intervento di restauro. Station of the Cross number 8 before and after the restoration.

During the practical training at the SOS ART laboratory, I partecipated to the restoration of the stations of the Cross made in the 18th Century by the local painter Pietro Fancelli. These small canvases, made with oil painting, were glued a pressed cardboard support. The varnish was yellowed and the paintings were a lot retouched. We cleaned the surface, we removed the old repainting, and we replaced the rigid, old, and brown putties with some new ones made with the traditional stucco. Then, we accorded the area using some water-based color on the first layer, refining them with varnish colours. I took care of the station number 8 entirely, supervised by the restorer, then I helped for the other paintings.
stazione 1   stuccature   basi a tempera

Some steps of the restoration of the station of the Cross number 1 : before the restoration, putties and the first layer of the retouching made with water-based colours.



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