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Inventing the Future without Forgetting the Past
Some time ago a fellow conservator told me in an informal chat that conservators from developing countries tend to be very good professionals because "they know how to do a lot with little". Dealing everyday with technology I realize how much we may get used to it. In conservation, as much as in other fields, there is a thin line between using technology for our profit and depending on it. Although I agree with my friend’s opinion, I also believe it is not only a question of developing versus industrialised countries but big budget institutions versus low budget institutions, wherever they are. Conservation requires conservators to make use of their creative skills, not only in their approach to the works of art but also in the solutions they find. These last can not depend only on technology. The young generation is eager to implement new technology-based solutions, and even though traditionally it is said that conservators are conservative, this professional need has been losing strength over time. We have developed a love-hate relationship with technology that is exemplified in the application of lasers and digital imaging. Laser technology was first applied to conservation some decades ago while digital imaging has been around since the 80s. Despite the fact that these technologies are available, and even that there has been much research and development on these subjects, technology is still far away from the regular conservation workshop. Still, there is a driving force against this natural friction, well exemplified this issue in the article about the VARIM project. This Spanish initiative combines the spectral analysis of paintings and open-source software, designed with a user-friendly interface, in order to enable hands-on conservators to use it. In this issue you can also read two interesting conference reviews. Christabel Blackman is sharing her reflections based on her experience at the Getty’s conference “The Object in Transition”, held last January in Los Angeles. The second is Anca Dina's review of the annual conservation conference held in Romania, where the most important conservation projects are presented. Among other interesting articles, there is a particular study about the curious history of the art collector Georges de Batz seen from the perspective of the conservator Niccolo Caldararo. This case-study brings us the research, history and examination of a Roger de la Fresnaye painting from the de Batz art collection. I hope you will enjoy the reading! Rui Bordalo, Executive Editor
CONFERENCE REVIEW The Object in Transition: A Cross-Disciplinary Conference on the Preservation and Study of Modern and Contemporary Art The Getty Conservation Institute 24-26 January 2008, Los Angeles, California
Review by Christabel Blackman
Conservation-Restoration Workshop for the Artistic Components of Historic Monuments Romanian Ministry of Culture and Cults 20-21 March 2008, Bucharest, Romania
Review by Anca Dina
2008 WORKSITES Conservation of the Mural Paintings from the Church of the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel – “Mantuleasa”
by Simona Patrascu and Anca Nicolaescu
UPCOMING EVENTS April to June 2008 TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT VARIM - A Useful System for Acquiring and Composing Images in Painting Analysis Techniques
by Juan Torres, Alberto Posse, José Manuel Menéndez, Araceli Gabaldón, Carmen Vega, Tomás Antelo, Marián del Egido & Miriam Bueso
MATERIAL STUDIES AND CHARACTERISATION Materials Used in Romanian Manuscripts from 15th to 19th century - Stereomicroscopy
by Mihai I. A. Lupu
CASE STUDY Georges de Batz. The Mysterious Case of an Art Collector Extraordinary Found by Examination of a Painting
by Niccolo Caldararo
Survey and Drawing for a Conservation-Restoration Project. A Study for Genoa and Savona.
by Giulia Pellegri
HERITAGE IN DANGER
Emergency and Preventive Conservation Interventions of Abandoned Churches in Transylvania
by Péter Pál and Lóránd Kiss
THE OBJECT IN TRANSITION
A Cross-Disciplinary Conference on the Preservation and Study of Modern and Contemporary Art
January 24-26, 2008 Los Angeles, California Organisers: The Getty Conservation Institute and the Getty Research Institute www.getty.edu For those who have not yet had the opportunity of visiting the Getty Center, it is a singular and enticing place that offers a unique and marvelous experience to any and all visitors. For conservators it represents an idealistic reverence for our vocation in its monumental presence and is a magnanimous attraction. Altruistically, it is what we all aspire to, the inclusion of conservation at the highest and most essential level in life. Geographically it is stoically posed upon its very own verdant mount, perched above the sprawling flatness of L.A., and in some way it is a symbolic destination for us, a proverbial Mecca. In the final days of January 2008, the "Object in Transition: A Cross-Disciplinary Conference on the Preservation and Study of Modern and Contemporary Art" was offered by the Getty Research Institute and the Getty Conservation Institute. A lunchtime course was also offered to conference participants about INCCA, International Network for the Conservation of Contemporary Art, (www.incca.org). No conference fees were charged and about 500 people came from all corners of the planet. Optimal organization and attendance, along with a varied agenda and an exhibition of the works that were central to the conferences led to a successful encounter all round. The participation of some of the most focused and experienced contemporary art conservators, historians and curators in the conference presentations or in the extremely lively and
Review by Christabel Blackman
North Building, Getty Center
articulate audience who continually jostled and vied for the microphone to transmit challenging outlooks, pertinent questions or relevant anecdotes, made for a worthy and memorable experience. Although a general sense of agreement was never a conclusive issue, inquisitive doubts and continual 'door opening' to new fields of thought were incisive and in abundance. Contemporary works of art pose theoretical and technical challenges which are continually addressed by conservators, curators, historians, artists and many others. However the challenging problems which do arise may often be parallel dichotomies. The intentional use of rapidly degradable materials, turn conservation into an almost impracticable endeavour. The decisions that are taken about an object’s conservation are subjective and because of the nature of decision making, are effected by who makes what decisions about conservation and the historically cultural moment in which they are made. Conservation moves between the vulnerability of the physical object and the understanding of its meaning and thus the importance of the consequences of decision making in conservation. And that’s why Conservation matters!
It is a difficult task to compress so much information into a simple review and I highly recommend readers to peruse their particular interests by logging onto the excellent video session reproductions available on the Getty website. In contemporary art, the very concept of the object controls its physical facts and parameters, but its actual physical state is beyond being merely conceptual. These physical restrictions and even the artist’s original intent often rely on people’s subjective experience and memories as documentation, because of the limitations that exist in extensively documenting the nature of these works. Jeffrey Weiss (former Director of Dia Art Foundation, N.Y.) commented on "the importance of addressing bigger questions that are also about interpretation, the choices that we are making. (…) it is important to protract greater ideas. Self criticism is important to look at, the choices we make now rather than twenty years ago, are also pertinent to this time, and in thirty years’ time we will be looked back upon." The influence and importance of "artist’s intent" was an issue that sprung up continually over both days. How important is artist’s intent,
Getty by night
and can it always be obeyed, at all costs? There seemed to be a popular view that the artist does have the right to intervene and continue to dictate his intent over his works during his lifetime and even sometimes posthumously through his estate or decreed intentions. But what was the original intent, and can that change? Is it affected by the artist’s evolution or technological advances (i.e. "if this technique was available when I first made this work, then I would have used it", and therefore it is valid to remake the work using such-and-such technique)? Should greatly deteriorated works of art that have modified beyond recognition be remade? But is that still the artist’s work or not? Who is responsible to make the decisions about an artwork? Is it exclusively the artist? These sorts of questions lead the way to problems of authenticity. What is authenticity? Is it in the object or the concept? If an object with grave irreparable problems is simply remade by the artist, is that the original object now? What is historically significant authenticity? Objects are made in an interpretive moment and when they are to be conserved this is an equally interpretive moment as that of its creation. The 'utopian truth' of original intent and the changes that have come about over time leads us to consider our own role as conservators in the creation of what authenticity is. Is age authenticity? And for that matter what is authenticity? There was an ensuing discussion about authenticity, which included a lot of defensive audience commentaries. Indeed, ethics and the decision making process become key questions. What is it we desire when we go to see an object, is it aesthetics, history, the object itself? There are often competing narratives
Coffee break and time for reflection
within the same artwork which need to be maintained, how do we achieve this? In the section about "Artist's Voice: History's Claim", big questions were posed and different viewpoints offered distinctive answers. Does history always defend the present? Pip Laurenson (Tate, London) engaged the audience and fellow speakers in some interesting lines of thought. The idea of finishing a work of art, gallery exhibition and thence the sale to a museum no longer exists. Sometimes a work is translated into another medium and an installation or performance piece may become a video. So is this the documentation or is it an evolution of the artwork? Do we have a responsibility to future accurate historical display of these works? Anne Wagner (Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art, Uni. of California) added more interesting ideas; that the death of the artist or the consequences of the museum as a recreational destination may impose changes on the
artwork; as the work circulates historically it may change, and lose intention; as objects, they are unstable because often they are movable objects and can keep being reinstalled; context greatly influences the artwork. In some way there seemed to a humble observer like myself to be a 'Botox principle' occurring: that the intentionality of contemporary art was to isolate a moment in time and negate aging which is a contradictory dichotomy because ‘agelessness’ implies discarding objects due to their age. The intentional rejection of the age factor is a negation of the ephemeral physical object and part of the 21st century 'Botox' obsession about lifespan consequences. In the interesting discussion entitled "Life and Death of Objects", Yve-Alain Bois (Art History Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey) said that "if a work
Getty Center East Building, housing the Getty Conservation Institute
A place to wander and wonder, the grounds of the Getty
is going to die anyway and it’s just slower in storage, then why not at least let a generation enjoy it? Trying to find a rule, I don’t think that it is possible. Every work requires a different attitude. The ethical, aesthetic questions change with time, that’s why it’s hard to find a common denominator, because it would become so general that it would no longer mean anything." There were many comments that contemporary conservation often clashed with the established Codes of Ethics. There is a close intertwining between technical decisions and ethical questions so in the end the conservator needs to resort to common sense and prudence. David Bomford (Associate Director for Collections at the J. Paul Getty Museum) commented "We must address the fact that we are adrift, there are certain uncertainties and there are uncertain uncertainties. All our old training rules have changed because the paradigms of making art have affected the paradigms of conservation. When will the alternative discourse replace the present one?"
He also went on to say "The residue of greater works of art that exist has been edited by time and history. The editing process of contemporary art has barely started. Perhaps the life and death of objects is part of the editing process that exists." If the habit of cabbage throwing still existed, David would have received a generous serving from the protesting audience’s heated response. It occurred to me that many of the present day dilemmas are due to the creation of artworks that have a limited life-span. Human beings had previously tended to create works of art that perjure time during many generations, and therefore it is now difficult to come to terms with objects that have a lifespan (or ‘life and death’) that may be witnessed within a single generation. Conservators, curators and art historians do not want to take on the responsibility of euthanasia decisions about the finality of artworks that have been intentionally made with ephemeral materials. Needless to say, this is without mentioning the economical questions
The Getty Center
that arise from the conclusive and final "death" of a work of art or the prestige and status anxiety created by its loss in the public sphere. Reviewed by Christabel Blackman
Christabel Blackman (b. 1959, Australia) holds a Masters Degree in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Patrimony (Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Spain) specializing in easel painting and a Diploma in canvas and panel easel paintings (Istituto per l’Arte ed il Restauro, Italy). She lives in Valencia, Spain, where she is a free-lance senior paintings conservator.
for the Artistic Components of Historic Monuments
20 and 21 March 2008 Bucharest, Romania Organiser: Romanian Ministry of Culture and Cults www.cultura.ro Review by Anca Dina
The "Conservation-Restoration Workshop for the Artistic Components of Historic Monuments", hosted by the Romanian Ministry of Culture and Cults, took place in the pleasant environment of the Ministry conference hall in 20 and 21 March 2008. In its second edition, the event gathered prominent personalities in the conservation-restoration field, being the most recent opportunity for the Romanian professionals to meet and present their work. All those interested in cultural heritage topics were present, such as conservators, art historians, chemists, physicians, curators, young professionals and students. This meeting aims, on one hand, to keep and strengthen the link between the specialist conservators and the younger professionals and, on the other hand, to bring into discussion and search solutions to the actual problems that concern the cultural heritage conservation. The event was opened by Mircea Angelescu, director of the General Direction of the National
Cultural Heritage, and by Dan Nicolae, architect at the Direction of Historic Monuments and Archaeology, who sincerely welcomed such an initiative to discuss the problems that conservators face, hoping at least a part of them may find solution. It was shown that with time, the importance that the Ministry is giving to this cultural heritage sector, and implicitly the funds made available through the National Restoration Plan, helped to the promotion of several monuments with important artistic components, such as the Bukovinian
mural painting ensembles and the Christian symbols and graffiti from Basarab. Unfortunately, the available funds are insufficient to face the wish for renewal and modernisation of many historic monuments, as well as their advanced state of decay. Therefore, it is essential to involve in these actions all parties, starting with the Ministry, the beneficiary and actual owners, the community, the municipal councils and the city halls. At the end of the opening, the invitation for the third workshop was launched. The workshop comprised 25 communications. In the first day, Ecaterina Cincheza–Buculei and Tereza Sinigalia, renowned art historians, were invited to moderate the sessions. In the second day, the discussion panels where conducted by the hosts, conservator-restorer Oana Gorea, the organiser of the event, and Dan Kisielevici, councillor from the Ministry of Culture and Cults. The audience was presented with several casestudies of the undergoing or recently finished conservation projects. Several problems that the heritage faces have been underlined decays due to incorrect previous interventions were shown; technological and stylistic studies were exposed and different types of material deterioration of works of art have been analysed. The presentations referred mainly to conservation works from Romania, although some aspects from France and Italy have also been stressed. The objects of study were mural paintings, conserved in situ or as detached fragments, wooden paintings or stone based materials. With regard to the given problems and the polemics developed by the present themes, different directions can be outlined. Starting with the restorer approach to the work of art,
it is worth mentioning his primary observations, which concern the stylistic and technical analysis or the study of the existent decay mechanisms. Two of the papers dealt with this subject: "Decay of the mural painting from the Church Dormition of the Virgin, Humor Monastery, in Suceava", presented by the conservator Maria Dumbravicianu and completed by the research carried out by INOE (National Institute of Research and Development for Optoelectronics) on the 3D scanning of the monument, and "Technological and stylistic aspects of the paintings by Costin Petrescu in the Concert Hall of the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest", presented by the restorers Anca and Sergiu Petrescu.
The event was opened by Mircea Angelescu, director of the General Direction of the National Cultural Heritage, Dan Nicolae, architect at the Direction of Historic Monuments and Archaeology and Oana Gorea, conservator-restorer and organiser of the event from the Ministry of Culture and Cults.
Well appreciated was the intervention of conservator Simona Patrascu for the exterior mural painting conservation from Coltea Church in Bucharest. Located in the centre of the capital, the church was subjected to extremely aggressive deterioration factors which drove in time to the decay and the disintegration of its mural paintings. In these circumstances, next to the problems raised by the paintings conservation, the aesthetical
presentation was a big challenge for the restorers. An archaeological approach was chosen to the conservation of the support and lacunas, using coloured, texturised fillings, in order to valorise the 17th century painting fragments. There is, however, a discontentment regarding the dissonant aesthetic rapport between the conservator’s option for the presentation of the mural painting surface and the constructor’s solution for the final aspect of the towers. Yet, through such an aesthetical recovery, the church partially regained its original aspect. Another case worthy of interest due to the importance of the monument and for its unfortunate and sad finality is the restoration of the 16th century monument "Deer House", a case presented by the specialist conservator Dan Mohanu. The presentation, entitled "The Deer House from Sighisoara, from stratigraphic research to the complete reconstitution of the facades, a critical view", is focused on the research carried out by the restorers that brought to light plaster layers and historical limewashes, among which a Latin inscription and the unexpected representation of the two bodies of the deer united by the corner between the building’s facades. According to the author, the archaeological restitution of the facades aimed to preserve all the aged traces of this building. In the same spirit, that of authenticity, together with the fundamental principle of materials compatibility, the plaster and the limewash were to be applied and modelled according to the traditional technology. However, what resulted at the end of the collaboration between the beneficiary and the restorers is very far from the initial proposal. The ancient layers of plasters are no longer visible, the original image being replaced with that of a cold, famous house, empty of its history.
Coltea Church in Bucharest, after the conservation of the exterior walls painting, intervention conducted by the conservator Simona Patrascu.
From the actual deformed image, the only sign reminding that this is the "Deer House" is the deer representation on the corner of the facades. Moreover, this representation was also distorted by the abusive chromatic integration.
Prof. Dan Mohanu, specialist conservator-restorer, presenting "The Deer House from Sighisoara, from stratigraphic research to the complete reconstitution of the facades, a critical view".
Dan Codrescu, mural painting conservator, presented comparatively some few examples regarding the experience he accumulated on worksites in France and Italy. The final task of the restorer, in what concerns the work of art, and implicitly, the aesthetical approach must be permanently reported to the already stated principles. The problems risen by each work in particular, the diversity of the lacunas and the necessity of adaptation of the restoration principles at each particular case demonstrate that the conservator main task must be to respect the professional deontology. However, with all the intention to preserve the unaltered, authentic image, there are situations when the decision belongs only partially to the conservator, due to the pressure exerted by the beneficiary or sponsor. This aspect was pointed several times during the debates, as these situations are real and they threaten the heritage with the falsification of its identity. A complex intervention of mural painting conservation was recently finished by the conservator Elena Murariu. Here, specialists confronted problems due to the consistent accumulations and limewashes on the colour layer affected by salt crystallisations. Moreover, the presence of cement in the support, the plaster detachments, the difficulty raised by the colour reattachment and the aesthetical approach to the lacunas, prove once again the necessity of seeing the conservation intervention as a unitary action at all levels. Besides the conservation of the interior and exterior mural paintings, other works that requested the pluridisciplinary collaboration between specialists and a rigorous planning of the interventions were made. An important conservation project of a stone monument was presented by Benjamin Nagy
concerning the intervention made on the exterior sculpted decoration of the Baroque portico of St. Peter Church in Cluj-Napoca. Here, environmental factors drove to the decay of the monument, mostly humidity and freezing-defreezing process. The monument presents, thus, multiple fissures and material detachments, the presence of vegetal colonial formations, incompatible additions with the nature of stone. Restorers’ intervention was focused on the preservation of the authenticity and integrity of the work, reducing firstly the risks involved by the intervention itself.
Dan Codrescu, mural painting conservator, presenting "An experience concerning aesthetical approach – France and Italy".
Image from the presenation of Elena Murariu, conservator of mural painting, showing the case study entitled "Conservation works from the hospice of Bistrita Monastery in Valcea. Problems and solutions."
The well-attended workshop - among the audience, were experienced conservator-restorers, conservation scientists but also young professionals.
As all the papers presented were equally interesting from different perspectives, it is impossible to discuss at large each one of them. However, we must highlight Claudiu Moldovan’s intervention at the Snagov Church Monastery in 2007 and that of Constantin Ritivoiu on the iconostasis from the St. Nicholas Church in Bucharest. Also, it should be reminded of the intervention made by the young conservator Maria Magdalena Drobota with Professor Oliviu Boldura, that was focused on the conservation of the fragments detached from the Princely church of Curtea de Arges. Interesting cases were also presented by Istvand Tuzes, about the recovery of the paintings from Apor manor from under the limewash layers and by Peter Pal and Lorand Kiss on the research for the identification of Transylvanian mural paintings. An appreciated research was that of the young professional Georgiana Zahariea together with Professor Oliviu Boldura. The research was focused on the properties of some materials used in the consolidation of mural paintings. The theoretical approach to some organic or mineral consolidant agents was based on laboratory tests and in situ situations. At "The beheading of St. John the Baptist" Church in Arbore, several emergency conservation
campaigns took place over the years. The actual conservation project made possible to study in-depth all the aspects. Thus, it was observed that the product used 30 years ago for consolidation of the support - calcium caseinate - does not achieve its purpose due to the high contraction degree, with time, becoming a merely filling material with no adhesive properties. This product was largely employed by the conservators at that time, being the only consolidant agent that was available locally. However, at that time, calcium caseinate served to the imperious safeguarding of the monument. Another research, this time focused on the identification of an artwork by the Romanian artist Petre Alexandrescu, was presented by the conservators Oana and Dumitru Gorea. The identification of the painting the "Descent from the Cross", from Antim Monastery in Bucharest, was only possible due to the restoration intervention which revealed the original image from under several overpaint layers. The work was completed by a resourceful research that established the origins of the painting, this being a replica after the famous work of Daniele da Volterra from the Trinita dei Monti church in Rome.
The Church from Arbore, a site in conservation, presented by Georgiana Zahariea and Prof. Oliviu Boldura from the point of view of the historical conservation interventions.
Debates on the theme of recent monuments conservation, a subject brought into discussion by the study of Raluca Bitiu Dancus Ceicu, "Churches, monuments to-come".
same time, it was possible to learn from the particularities of each intervention and to follow the evolution of the works. Some very acute problems this unprivileged domain confronts with right now were brought into discussion. Those works that responded to the conservation principles were well appreciated, together with the observation spirit and the correct attitude of the restorer. Nevertheless, those attitudes of interpreting the professional exigencies were critically commented. It is striking, however, the absence from these debates of those persons with decisional role in heritage conservation, such as the beneficiaries, who could have learned some of the problems in this domain. This was one of the wishes of the Ministry of Culture and Cults, which tries to change the actual perception on the restoration interventions into an indispensable action which helps to the safeguarding of the memory of a nation. The initiator of the event, conservator Oana Gorea, expressed some of the impressions and experiences gathered on this occasion: "I wish to thank all the participants for their interest and participation to this event. I am extremely pleased by the high number of participants, especially of the young professionals generation, who are given here the opportunity to familiarise with problems met “in situ” on the conservation sites for the artistic components. At the time of my graduation, me and my colleagues were not given the chance to present our work and share our experiences within different worksites, thus now, through my position within the Ministry, I wish to create this opportunity for the new generations. The purpose of such action was to resurge an older tradition which unfortunately got lost with time, and that was to disseminate
Another focus of the discussions was to point out faulty treatments applied in the conservation of some artworks. It was reminded about those interventions on wooden support that aim at the consolidation of the support and the treatment against insects infestation using wax or rosin. According to restorers Cornelia and Dinu Savescu, these methods induce different types of degradation at the support level which implicitly influence the painting layer, as in the case of the iconostasis from the Church of Stelea Targoviste Monastery. Gabriela Stefanita proved once more the great deal of damage that paintings suffer due to incorrect interventions, showing comparative archive images and photos of the present state of conservation from St. Spyridon Church in Subesti. Another aspect of this debate was the rather recent paintings, from the last century, which are not appreciated for their artistic value and thus, are threatened with the ablation or the repainting. As a conclusion to that already mentioned, it should be said that the initiative for this event, organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Cults, is laudable. This occasion gave specialists the opportunity of expressing their ideas in regard to the ideal and optimal conditions for a conservation process. At the
and value this meticulous, laborious and littleknown work. I am faced almost every day, during the receptions or inspections of the worksites, with the rich activity of a large number of conservators which I consider must be shared. These efforts, our problems and solutions, methodologies, briefly, all our accumulated experience must be known at least by our colleagues. Another aim of this event was to valorise the work of the young generation of conservators, that comes now with a large experience acquired during the university and completed by scholarships or courses in other countries. These people are often faced with complicated work situations, such as faulty execution technique, use of poor materials and incorrect monument keeping, yet their work is rarely made public. The Ministry tired this year to reward these extraordinary efforts, by according three prices for the worksites finished last year. Within the framework of the “Conference of the Specialists in the National Cultural Heritage Domain” from Sinaia, three important conservation works were rewarded: the restoration of the mural painting from the hospice of Bistrita Monastery in Valcea, the conservation of the mural paintings and decorations from the Fronius House in Sighisoara and the conservation works from the Concert Hall of the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest."
The News section is publishing the most diverse information on cultural heritage topics, such as on-site conservation projects reports, conferences, lectures, talks or workshops reviews, but also courses reviews and any other kind of appropriate announcements. If you are involved in interesting projects and you want to share your experience with everybody else, please send us your news or announcements. For more details, such as deadlines and publication guidelines, please check www.e-conservationline.com
Review by Anca Dina, conservator-restorer, mural painting specialist. For collaboration, we thank Oana Gorea, conservator and initiator of the event from the Ministry of Culture and Cults of Romania. Text translated by e-conservationline.
CONSERVATION OF THE MURAL PAINTINGS from the Church of the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel – “Mantuleasa”, in Bucharest
Worksite supervision: Simona Patrascu and Anca Nicolaescu, specialist conservator-restorers Period: since October 2007
It is not very common to find in the middle of a tourist capital such as Bucharest a historic monument in such advanced state of decay as the Mantuleasa church. However, this was the situation that the church faced until very recently. Out of sight between high modern buildings, it seems that all this time Mantuleasa draw back from the traffic of the city centre, remaining somehow isolated from the consideration that it is worthy of. Fortunately for the monument an on-site conservation project was started by Restauro Art Grup and continues at the moment under the coordination of Simona Patrascu and Anca Nicolaescu, conservator-restorers of mural paintings.
Mantuleasa Church (up) and the portal inscriptions (down).
Brancovenesc1 monument, Mantuleasa church is a reference for the Romanian art from the early 18th century. According to the portal lettering, the church was erected in 1733, by Mariia, the sister of Boyar Manta and by Stanca, his wife. The monument is characterised by equilibrated form and shape, refined by sculpted
1 Constantin Brâncoveanu (1654 – 1714) was Prince of
Wallachia between 1689 and 1714. The architectural style derived from his name - the "Brâncovenesc style" - is known as a synthesis of Renaissance and Byzantine architecture.
decoration and painted ornaments, such as vegetal motifs and stylised crosses. Simple and elegant in a basic chromatic scale (red, black and ochre), the ornaments embellish the church tower, the porch columns and arches. Unfortunately, time left several traces over the monument such as environmental factors, earthquakes and the parishioners’ needs. Thus, several inevitable repairs and modifications took place since its erection until 1924 when a first written testimony concerning a conservation intervention is mentioned in the archives. The most important modification was the enlargement of the interior space of the church, by the extinction of the wall between the narthex and the nave, meant to divide members from different social classes. Suppressing the wall, however, had major negative effects on the stability of the entire architectural ensemble. Another unfortunate intervention was the oil repainting of the interior murals, with the exception of the porch vaulting. Still, the 1924 project recovered as much as possible from the original aspect of the church, both at the level of architectural components and wall paintings. The restoration of the paintings focused on removing the oil repainting and cleaning the original and was performed by Paul Molda, conservator-restorer. The procedure used on that time to remove oil repaintings was not appropriate in regard to the conservation principles, using rich lime and sodium bicarbonate, soda provoking more damage to the original painting, such as exfoliation, powdering and salt efflorescence. After the earthquake from 1940, the severe damages required a new intervention, this time however, one destructive by its own nature: the tower were rebuilt using reinforced concrete, the masonry was remade of rich lime, the bricks
were darned with cement, the ensemble was consolidated with coupling bars, the interior painting was washed and replenished and the facades were remade together with the ornaments and the exterior painting. What we see today on the painting is the result of the damages made by these several factors, from candle smoke to previous actions in the spirit of restoration. The painting, however, is still an 18th century reference, with its simplified chromatic harmonies, made up by blue (charcoal black and lime), green (clay pigmented with iron hydroxide) and red (clay with anhydrous iron oxide). Both the architecture and the mural painting of high quality require a rigorous approach to the undergoing conservation intervention. The
The porch columns with decoration in a basic chromatic scale (red, black and ochre).
project is structured according to the priorities and among its aims, it proposes: - The conservation of the exterior painted decoration and the renewal of the plaster and the architectonic profiles. At the moment, all the facades were plastered except the tower profiles from under the cornice and the medial belt which still presents painted ornaments. From this reason, they are now in an advanced, unaesthetic state of decay. The intervention in these areas will be executed by construction specialists supervised by the conservators’ team. The final aim of this intervention is to regain the artistic configuration of the monument. - Emergency intervention to protect the areas where consolidation works are already undergoing, both on the inside and outside of the church.
Nathex to central nave, during the conservation. Porch north vaulting, actual conservation state.
Detail of a saint medalion, dome. Initial state of conservation (up), after the removal of previous improper repairs (upper right) and after filling of the lacunas with mortars (lower right).
- Assistance for the structure consolidation works. - The conservation of the interior mural paintings. The conservation project proposal was made after a preliminary thorough in situ research. Thus, several stratigraphic tests were carried on to establish the painting stratigraphy, tests for the removal of the adherent deposits and improper anterior repairs. After in situ sampling of the support, salt crystallisations, anterior intervention mortars and paint layer, the research laboratory provided data regarding the nature of these materials which helped to the establishment of the appropriate intervention methodology. At the present time, the consolidation of the structure was finished, based on the good cooperation between our conservator’s team and the constructors. The areas to be consolie_conser vation
dated by injection were previously prepared by the conservators. Initially, the damages were hard to evaluate due to the thick layer of dirt that covered the entire surface. During the preliminary operations for the emergency intervention, the previous repairs were removed, fact that facilitated the evaluation of the monument’s stability and unity. Thereby, measures were taken for a safe emergency intervention: scaffoldings to sustain the arches, especially the triumphal arch in the central nave and the north and south arches
from the narthex, which presented severe cracks and strong detachments of the masonry. As an emergency conservation operation, the degradation of the painted surface has also been stopped, by the consolidation and reattachment of the pulverulent colour layer on extended areas. This operation was performed by treating differentially the multiple types of detachments of the surface, this selective treatment up to each degradation type having accomplished the adherence of the colour layer to the support. Presently, a new stage is undergoing, that of the aesthetical presentation of the lacunas: large areas are to be treated archaeologically, using coloured mortars, small lacunas of the support and colour layer are to be chromatically integrated by tratteggio and finally,
the small loses of the colour layer by velatura. Our intervention had the aim of assuring the entire ensemble a high resistance capacity, adequate for an eventual future seismic activity. By the end of the year, we expect to finalise the conservation of this monument. Once accomplished, the final results of our intervention are to be presented in a future article. Text by Simona Patrascu and Anca Nicolaescu
Restauro Art Grup S.R.L. was founded in 2000 by the conservators Simona Patrascu, Anca Nicolaescu and Silviu Petrescu. It is a conservation enterprise accredited by the Romanian Ministry of Culture that has run several conservation projects for important historic monuments in Romania, among which the conservation of the mural ensemble from the Surpatele Monastery (2002-2003), the mural painting conservation from the Church of Jgheaburi Monastery (2003-2004) and the conservation of the exterior murals and original renderings from Coltea Church (2006).
The events in this section are linked to the original homepage of the organisers. In case the event does not have an individual page, the calendar of events will open at www.conservationevents.com. Click on "Read more..." to find out more details about each event.
Stone Consolidation in Cultural Heritage - research and practice
Date: 6-7 May Place: Lisbon, Portugal Read more...
This Symposium will focus on the present state of the art and state of the practice as regards consolidation mechanisms, degradation of consolidated stones, novel products for consolidation and long term monitoring of consolidation interventions on monuments aiming at discussing both research and practical issues.
AIC 2008 Annual Meeting April 2008
Date: 21 –24 April Place: Denver, USA The theme for AIC’s 2008 Annual Meeting is Creative Collaborations. The theme is an intentionally broad, meant to highlight successful projects completed by conservators partnering with professionals in other fields, such as scientists, engineers, artists, owners/ shareholders, or industrial representatives. Read more...
8th Triennial Meeting for Conservators of the Baltic States
Date: 7-10 May Place: Tallinn, Estonia The aim of this meeting is to enhance the role of preservation of cultural heritage as well as to point out the importance of the conservation. Theoretical and practical approaches to preservation, conservation and research as well as new technical solutions will be presented and discussed during the sessions. Read more...
Date: 24-25 April Place: Bilbao, Spain TECHNARTE is an international conference on art and technology that seeks to become the most important event of its kind. The aims are to present technological developments that enhance a broader expression of modern art, and to provide a forum for debate and reflection on the convergence between technology and art. It was born as a conference where the most important thinkers in the sector and the most advanced technologists can be heard. Read more...
Heritage 2008: World Heritage and Sustainable Development
Date: 7-9 May Place: Vila Nova de Foz Côa, Portugal HERITAGE 2008 aims to gather in an International Conference several worldwide experts on the relationships between Heritage and Human Development, Natural Environment and Building Preservation. One of the main goals of the Conference is to promote significant discussion on these relevant issues. More and more Heritage must be addressed in innovativesustainable ways, underlining the role of human and natural heritage as one of the contra-hegemonic trends in a more and more global world. Read more...
Technologies and Techniques. RX Futures Conference 2008 May 2008
Date: 10 May Place: Reading, UK RX, Research Exchange in the History of Art, Architecture and Design, is a consortium of nine university departments (Birmingham, Bristol, Brighton, Kingston, Oxford Brookes, Reading, Roehampton, Southampton and Warwick). Its third annual postgraduate conference takes place on 10 May 2008 at the University of Reading. Read more...
Vernici, Solventi e Colori da Ritoco nel Restauro
Date: 20-23 May Place: Vicenza, Italy Attraverso una serie di lezioni teoriche, dimostrazioni e sessioni pratiche, questo workshop si prefigge di aggiornare i restauratori/conservatori ai più recenti sviluppi nei materiali e tecniche di verniciatura. Read more...
International Paper Historians Congress 2008
Date: 27-30 May Place: Stockholm, Sweden The event will be organized in conjunction with the 100 years anniversary of SPCI, the Swedish Association of Paper and Pulp Engineers. The overall theme of the Congress will be The Birth of an Industry – from Forest to Paper during the 19th Century and it will concentrate on describing the huge structural changes that took place during this period when the papermaking changed from a handicraft type of activity to a continuously operating process industry. Read more...
Preparing for the Unexpected
Protection and Security for Cultural Collections Date: 12-13 May Place: Philadelphia, USA This program is intended for staff charged with collections care, including conservators, librarians, archivists, curators, collections managers, and stewards of historic house museums, and for staff responsible for the safety of collections, such as site and facility managers and security and safety staff. Read more...
Museum studies in the 21th century
The Problems of Research and Teaching Date: 14-15 May Place: St. Petersburg, Russia Read more...
Art2008 - 9th International Conference
Non-destructive testing, microanalysis and preservation in the conservation of cultural and environmental heritage Date: 25-30 May Read more...
Saint-Petersburg State University invites you to take part in the international scientific conference "Museum studies in the 21th century: the Problems of research and teaching". The topics themes are: Museum as a phenomenon of modern culture; tasks of modern museum studies; scientific investigations in the museums; ascription and examination in the museums; protection of the museums; Museums and tourism.
Place: Jersualem, Israel The main objective of Art2008 is bringing together experts in nondestructive evaluation and material analysis with professionals from the fields of preservation of cultural heritage, archeology, art history and architectural researchers of ancient structures.
Fundamentals of Creating and Managing Digital Collections Date: 10-12 June Read more...
Date: 1-4 June Place: Ventotene Island, Italy
The Meeting will be interest to theorists, researchers, professors, experts, technicians, involved in multivariate techniques in order to improve the knowledge of the environment and of the cultural artifacts. Every analytical technique/method is welcome if it can be used in a multivariate way.
Place: Jacksonville, USA This revitalized version of the three-day School for Scanning conference presents the essentials of digitization and is geared toward participants with a beginning or intermediate level of digital knowledge. From file formats to funding, from metadata to rights management, learn how to create and manage
Symposium on Archaeological Storage
Date: 6-8 June Place: Los Angeles, USA This symposium will bring together directors of excavations and of centralized storage repositories for archaeological collections, archaeological conservators who have achieved innovative and accessible storage methods, and archaeologists who have developed digital management systems for portable finds. Read more...
sustainable digital collections.
Study and Serendipity: Testimonies on Artists' Practice
Date: 12-13 June Place: Glasgow University, Scotland The aim of this meeting is to explore artists' practice from all disciplines and periods as recorded in visual and written testimonies; from treatises and manuals to correspondence, ledgers, diaries and journals, as well as images: paintings, prints, photographs, film etc. Read more...
Workshop in Paste Paper in Conservation
Date: 9-13 June Place: Ascona, Switzerland Historical paste paper techniques as needed for adequate infills and bindings have not changed fundamentally since the 17th century. This course will help participants to understand the fascinating processes, "read" the originals and produce the required papers. Insights into history, chemistry and surfaces are given. Insights into history, chemistry and surfaces are given. Read more...
Latest research into painting techniques of Impressionists and Postimpressionists
Date: 12-14 June Place: Cologne, Germany The event is planned to accompany the exhibition „Painting Light – Hidden techniques of the Impressionists“. The keynotes of the event are information on the current state of scholarship and interdisciplinary exchange between conservators and art historians. Read more...
Multivariate Analysis and Chemometrics applied to Environment and Cultural Heritage
AREAS OF PUBLISHING Conservation Treatment
Mural Painting Painting Stone Sculpture Textiles Paper / Documents Photography Metals Tile / Ceramic / Glass Furniture Music instruments Ethnographic assets Archeological objects
Scientific research Material studies and characterisation Analytical techniques Technology development Biodeterioration State-of-the-art Reviews Art History, Iconography, Iconology, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Photography, Cultural Management, Museology, Computer Science, Legislation and Juridical Processes, Conservation Policies and any other field applied to Conservation and Restoration of works of art.
Theoretic principles Case studies
Documentation in Conservation
Standardisation Documentation methods Data management
Ethics Conservation History
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A Useful System for Acquiring and Composing Images in Painting Analysis Techniques
JUAN TORRES, ALBERTO POSSE, JOSÉ MANUEL MENÉNDEZ, ARACELI GABALDÓN, CARMEN VEGA, TOMÁS ANTELO, MARIÁN DEL EGIDO & MIRIAM BUESO
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Introduction Along the history, art has always been linked to technology development. As new techniques have arisen, the way artists show their ideas has changed. Nevertheless, technology progress has not only affected the creation of artistic compositions but has also improved their study and analysis, as well as their conservation and restoration. The different sort of analysis offer different information about works of art: advances in the chemistry field make possible, for instance, to carry out an exhaustive study of the art materials’ composition, new techniques of microscopic analysis provide with more data about the state of the paintings, etc. The increasing development of the computer systems and the advances in the image processing algorithms and computer vision not only provide new instruments of analysis but also permit to improve the ones already existing. In addition, this improvement allows the reduction of costs, making the technology accessible to a greater number of conservatorrestorers, curators, art historians and researchers in general. Having this idea in mind, the VARIM project (Visión Artificial aplicada a la Reflectografía de Infrarrojos Mecanizada – Computer Vision applied to Mechanized Infrared Reflectography) was born. In this project, a complete system for acquiring and composing the infrared reflectography mosaic was designed and created. This system is able to create, in an automatic way, the entire image of the underdrawing layer of a painting using advanced computer vision techniques. But its main importance lies in offering study tools even to users having scant resources and knowledge due to a user friendly design. Moreover, it is an all-purpose
tool which not only can create a reflectographic mosaic but its modular structure makes possible its use for other analysis techniques such as radiography, as further shown. VARIM history The infrared reflectography  is an analysis technique used since the 70’s and it consists of acquiring a set of contiguous images of a painting using a video camera sensitive exclusively to the infrared area. These images are later merged to obtain a unique image called mosaic. A large number of images of a painting are required so small details can be appreciated. The final mosaic offers information about the underdrawing layer which is not directly visible by the human eye. Although this technique has been used for decades, the traditional method entails several problems that make the task very slow and tedious. Moreover, as it was already stated, this kind of analysis has not been accessible to modest institutions. Thus, VARIM project tried to solve a set of problems which can be found in other systems offering a versatile tool for everyone. Among the difficulties, VARIM has brought improvements to old methods, such as: - Usually, the acquisition task is done in a manual way, placing the camera in front of the desired area of the painting for each capture. If a high resolution is required, the number of captured images must be increased. This implies a monotonous task, placing and controlling the camera in the right position. - The mosaicing is also a manual task. The user should select the sub-images one by one and mark at least a similar point in two of the
consecutive sub-images. Depending on the number of sub-images, this task can involve several hours of tedious work. - In the traditional method, different computing applications are used for each step: acquisition, processing and mosaicing. To handle several programs for the same process can cause incompatibilities among them while integration in one only makes easier the user’s tasks. - The imperfections of the infrared camera, the mechanical elements and the variations in the light conditions make very difficult to obtain high quality mosaics. This way, VARIM provides different tools that solve the difficulties already enumerated, as well as it brings additional advantages to be mentioned further on.
System Description The VARIM system is formed by two components: the physical devices composing the hardware architecture, and the software application which handles these devices and includes useful image processing tools. Although not all the physical devices are available to any user -for instance the infrared camera is an expensive device- the software application can be used independently to acquire colour images and to join any kind of images, i. e., colour, ultraviolet and radiography ones. In addition, the software is distributed for free and released under the terms of the GPL license. Any interested person can download the application from the web page of the VARIM project.
Figure 1. VARIM application
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Figure 2. VARIM’s physical structure set up for infrared reflectography mosaicing
Figure 2 shows VARIM’s physical diagram architecture, which is composed of the painting, a mechanical position system (handled through an Ethernet module), a near infrared camera, a lighting system, and a PC platform with a framegrabber. The mechanical position system is formed by: - A stable structure that allows camera controlled movements among an area of 1x1 meter
Figure 3. Hardware sub-system.
(two degrees of freedom) operated by the PC using the Ethernet module. This structure can be transported to place it in front of the work o f art at the laboratory or outside (left and center images in Figure 3). - A mobile structure that makes the stable structure to achieve a height of 6 meters, allowing the system to reach paintings that can not be moved, such as those in a church (right image in Figure 3).
The system is able to move the structure in a smart way, acquiring each sub-image that will configure the mosaic and inserting them automatically in the application. This process is carried out without any other human intervention besides the input of some data: the initial and the final positions and the selected overlapping area between the acquired images. Human errors during the movement are thus avoided with this automatic acquisition. The lighting system is placed in a fixed way on both sides of the painting in order to obtain a uniform light condition all over the painting surface. Software application VARIM application is designed as modular software and it can be used separately. The different modules are as follows:
Figure 4. VARIM software, main and secondary windows
- A Video and Image Acquisition Module (VIAM). This is the module in charge of the camera control, that is, the automatic acquisition of the subimages which compose the entire mosaic. - An Image Processing Module (IPM). Some generic image processing tools are implemented in this module besides the mosaicing algorithms (VIPS library is used). As well as the generic tools, three important methods have been designed and developed: 1. A noise pattern suppression method. This is an algorithm able correct the wear that some old infrared cameras have. This wear produces an undesirable pattern in all the captured images. 2. A geometrical distortion correction algorithm . Some cameras show a geometrical distortion due to the imperfection of their lenses. Thus, a method for correcting this effect has been implemented. 3. An automatic luminosity control in
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acquisition . This algorithm has been implemented in order to maintain a regular luminosity during the acquisition process, correcting the differences in the incident light and its variation in each capture. - A Mechanical Control Module (MCM). It is in charge of the manual and automatic movement and of positioning the camera in front of the painting. A main window interface, where all the acquired sub-images are listed and organized by rows, gives access to all the implemented functionalities. Figure 4 shows an example of the application. The background window lists the acquired sub-images; the foreground window shows the composed mosaic, together with a detail of a particular union and its position in the whole mosaic. In order to form the mosaic, every image registration in the mosaicing process requires one or two correspondence points in two consecutive (horizontal or vertical) images, points that are found by an automatic algorithm . Then, VIPS library is used to merge the two images using those automatic calculated points. Figure 5 shows an example of this image registration.
Figure 5 - Automatic image registration
As earlier stated, some of the features of VARIM are available using specific physical devices. For instance, to acquire images in an automatic way, the mechanical position system is required. Nevertheless, the composition of any kind of images and the image processing tools can be used without any restriction. Applications and Results Nowadays, the VARIM application produces very satisfactory results. Indeed, almost all the projects carried out by the Physics Studies area of the Instituto del Patrimonio Histórico Español (IPHE) use this software application. As an example, one of the most recent studies has been selected: "Estudio comparativo de tres pinturas sobre tabla". This study presents the fieldwork done due to the "Sumas y restas de las tablas de Arcenillas" exhibition in the Zamora Museum. In this exhibition, three wooden paintings belonging to an alterpiece ascribed to Fernando Gallego were shown: "Adoración de los Magos" (nowadays in the Museo de Bellas Artes of Asturias), "Noli me tangere" and "Pentecostés" (both in the Zamora’s Cathedral Museum). It is believed these paintings were made in the 15th century for the altarpiece of the Zamora’s Cathedral. In the 18th century, this altarpiece was replaced and purchased by a nearly village called Arcenillas. In 2007, a comparative analysis of the three paintings was requested. The applied intervention protocol was the regular one used by the IPHE’s laboratory of Physics Studies and the stages where VARIM was used were divided into two steps: the acquisition and mosaicing of the infrared reflectography and the mosaicing of the digitalized X-ray images.
Figure 6. “Adoración de los Magos” (visible). I.P.H.E. Sección de Estudios Físicos
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Figure 7. “Noli me tangere” (visible). I.P.H.E. Sección de Estudios Físicos
Figure 8. “Pentecostés” (visible). I.P.H.E. Sección de Estudios Físicos
The infrared reflectography The first stage in a study on the response of a painting to infrared radiation is to decide between a better spectral or spatial resolution. Thus, initially a double sampling of the painting is done because the type of sensor to be used depends on the pigments’ properties: infrared reflectograph (mounted in an analog camera) or CCD (mounted in a conventional digital camera, with no infrared filter). In this case, the spatial resolution was the decisive feature, thus a CCD was chosen. This kind of sensor is low cost (compared to the infrared one) and more accessible to researchers. All the images acquired and composed were obtained using VARIM application and the study was divided in four stages:
1. Decision of the size of the mosaic. As this depends on the motif to be studied, its size was decided using a previous tracking of the painting. 2. Location and assembly of the mechanical position system. The mechanical support is usually taken in pieces because of the movement. Because of this, it is important to check if all devices are perfectly adjusted before acquisition. Moreover, this system must be placed parallel to the painting from a distance previously established in order to obtain a correct automatic composition. Later, the camera was placed in its support using a B+W 093 filter to avoid visible radiation inside the camera lens. 3. Acquisition and mosaicing. Using contiguous images, horizontal and vertical, the partial displacements were decided in order to obtain
Figure 9. “Adoración de los Magos” (reflectography). I.P.H.E. Sección de Estudios Físicos
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Figure 10. “Noli me tangere” (reflectography). I.P.H.E. Sección de Estudios Físicos
Figure 11. “Pentecostés” (reflectography). I.P.H.E. Sección de Estudios Físicos
a correct overlapping area between images. This parameter depends on several factors but the main one is the type of drawing. Once the images were acquired, they were integrated in the workspace and the final mosaics were obtained. 4. Analysis and exhibition of the obtained results . As a conclusion, some similarities in the preparatory drawing of the three paintings have been found. In fact, this also occurs i n other studied paintings from the same author (Fernando Gallego), as for instance, in the altarpiece of Trujillo (Cáceres) and in "La Virgen de la Rosa" (Salamanca’s Cathedral Museum). Next, some observations can be drawn from the pervious statements. Firstly, the drawing is of high quality and the lines are confident, expressing a vigorous image. Moreover, in general, the visible composition fits with the preparatory drawing. A first approach to the pieces
could give the sensation of great differences but similar areas demonstrate that the creation process is the same. Lastly, only one label1 (regarding the green colour, "verde") has been found in "La Adoración de los Magos" (Figure 9). The X-ray analysis First of all, it must be mentioned that this is a comparative study which will comprise other 11 wooded paintings from Arcenillas’ Church (Zamora). Thus, all the X-ray belonging to the wooden boards were made2 and developed3 under the same conditions. The used film4 has
1 The artists usually draw some texts in the underdrawing
giving instructions to their pupils. In this case some labels regarding colours were drawn. 2 Each X-ray was obtained in one shot using a Philips MCN 165 device under the parameters 40 kV and 184 mAxs/m2. 3 In an automatic process during 8 minutes and 30 ºC. 4 Type II norm ASTM (D-7 by AGFA)
Figure 12. “Adoración de los Magos” (X-ray). I.P.H.E. Sección de Estudios Físicos.
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Figure 13. “Noli me tangere” (X-ray). I.P.H.E. Sección de Estudios Físicos
Figure 14. “Pentecostés” (X-ray). I.P.H.E. Sección de Estudios Físicos
usually a format of roll of 30 cm width and 61 meters long. The film was cut into strips of the same height as the boards. Altogether more than 7 meters of film was needed. Once the X-ray was obtained, it was digitalized. The dissemination of the obtained digital document is important for conservation and the digitalized X-ray makes easier the study of the painting for a great number of researchers because no additional and expensive devices are needed. On the other hand, the preservation of this digital document is very important and its manipulation must be avoided. The document is of high importance as a witness of the conservation status of the painting.
VARIM was also used in the joint of digitalized plates. Previously, other image processing applications were used but a clear and artificial line appeared in the joint area due to the lack of an overlapping area in the images. Using the union algorithms provided by VARIM, the joint process is automatic and instantaneous. On the other hand, the exhaustive analysis of these documents provides valuable data, invisible to the human eye. In this case study (Figures 12-14), some metallic staples were found in order to reinforce some cracks in "La Adoración de los Magos" (Figure 12). The other paintings do not have any staples in spite of some cracks of the wooden boards. In addition, some differences were found
regarding the fabric placed between the preparatory layer and the painting. This fabric is complete in the case of "La Adoración de los Magos" while the other two painting present fabric in the panels joints and in the cracks. Finally, some similarities were found between "La Adoración de los Magos" and "Pentecostés", where an incisive drawing and a clear vanishing point appears in both X-ray (Figures 12 and 14). Conclusions The VARIM system has demonstrated that it is of inestimable help and has brought improvement compared to the traditional method. VARIM is an application that integrates in only one work environment all acquiring and mosaicing tasks. This makes the entire process more efficient. Thus, the use of workspaces and the storage of all the information is done in an easy and fast way which is especially useful due to the great number of images that are handled in each session. Another interesting feature is the use of temporal and work directories. Using the application preferences, the user can specify the work directory and a different one where the partial results are stored. Furthermore, in a real environment, the application offers a tool where the acquisition and mosaicing tasks are user-friendly and easy. Moreover, thanks to the automatic methods previously mentioned, the system allows to save a considerable amount of time. Even users without deep computer knowledge can use the application in an easy way, thanks to the accessibility criteria applied in the design stage.
Finally, thanks to the fact that the software is distributed for free, its extensive use and the obtained feedback made possible to correct some bugs and to improve its functionalities. One of the main objectives established at the beginning of the project was achieved: to create a functional tool, easy to use and accessible to a great number of people. References 1. J. R. Van Asperen de Boer, “A contribution to the examination of earlier European paintings”, PhD thesis, University of Amsterdam, 1970 2. J. Torres and J. M. Menéndez, “A practical algorithm to correct geometrical distortion of image acquisition cameras”, IEEE International Conference on Image Processing, vol. III, pp. 2451-2454, October 2004 3. J. Torres and J.M. Menéndez, “An adaptive real-time method for controlling the luminosity in digital video acquisition”, IAESTED International Conference on Visualization, Imaging and Image Processing, pp. 133-137, September, 2005 4. A. Posse, J. Torres and J.M. Menéndez, "Matching points in low contrast images”, International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP), San Diego, USA, October 2008 (Under revision) 5. T. Antelo, A. Gabaldón and C. Vega, "Sumas o restas: incógnitas en torno al retablo de Arcenillas”, in Sumas y restas de las tablas de Arcenillas. Fernado Gallego y el antiguo retablo de la Catedral de Zamora, Zamora, 2007
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VARIM: A USEFUL SYSTEM FOR ACQUIRING AND COMPOSING IMAGES IN PAINTINGS ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
www.upm.es Polytechnic University of Madrid
development and implementation of plans for the conservation and restoration of historical heritage. Movable heritage and historical buildings are included. The IPHE also co-operates with other public administrations and public or private institutions for the development of these plans. The IPHE works on the available documentation, organization of work produced and archival on the historic heritage of the country, as well as research and study of criteria, methods and updated techniques in conservation and restoration of cultural heritage.
Grupo de Aplicación de Telecomunicaciones Visuales (G@TV)
www.gatv.ssr.upm.es Visual Telecommunication Application Group G@TV is a research group that belongs to the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), one of the most important universities in Spain. This group has experience in image/video processing, in the development of Intelligent Transport Systems and surveillance systems. The experience on image and video extends throughout computer vision applied to art conservation and restoration, coding, computer graphics, image restoration and analysis, object and movement location and tracking, etc.
contact: firstname.lastname@example.org He received the Telecommunications Engineer degree (Hons.) in 2004 from E.T.S. Ingenieros de Telecomunicación of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid . Since 2002, he is a member of the Signals, Systems and Radio communications Department of the E.T.S. Ingenieros de Telecomunicación. In 2006, he obtained the Researcher Aptitude in the Ph.D. program called "Communications Technologies and Systems". Nowadays, he is a PhD candidate researching on the variations of the internal parameters of the video cameras digital acquisition. His master thesis was performed in the VARIM Project (Artificial Vision applied to Mechanized Infrared Reflectography) framework, funded by the Ministry of Industry. Moreover, he is author of several international and national papers and scientific contributions and has been invited to several national Congresses. In addition, he has taught a course belonged to a Master in Arqueometry of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.
Instituto del Patrimonio Histórico Español (IPHE)
www.mcu.es/patrimonio/MC/IPHE/ Spanish Historical Heritage Institute IPHE operates within the Dirección General de Bellas Artes y Bienes Culturales of the Spanish Ministry of Culture and takes care of the
He received the Telecommunications Engineer degree (Hons.) from E.T.S. Ingenieros de Telecomunicación of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid in 2007. His master thesis was performed in the VARIM Project (Artificial Vision applied to Mechanized Infrared Reflectography) framework. His professional interests include image and digital video processing, image registration, remote sensing and computer vision. He is Ph.D. candidate and researcher assistant at the Visual Applications Telecommunications Group being involved in several R&D National and European Projects in relation with Audiovisual and Remote Sensing technologies.
Bachelor's Degree in Physical Science, X-rays installation supervisor at IPHE (Madrid) and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid), she contributes to research and to develop technical studies with electromagnetic radiation on cultural beings. She is employed at IPHE Physical Studies Section since 1971.
Ph.D. in Biophysics, she has been collaborating at IPHE Physical Studies Section since 2001 as expert on infrared reflectography studies on cultural assets. She participates on publications and congresses about this specialised subject.
JOSÉ MANUEL MENÉNDEZ
He received the Telecommunications Engineer degree (Hons.) in 1988 and the Ph.D. degree in Communications (summa cum laude) in 1996, both by the E.T.S. Ingenieros de Telecomunicación of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Since 1988 he is a member of the Signals, Systems and Radio communications Department of the E.T.S. Ingenieros de Telecomunicación, becoming associate professor in 1996. His professional interests include computer vision, image processing, digital video broadcasting and visual communications. He has been actively involved both in European (Eureka, Race, Esprit, ACTS, and IST, since the II FP) and in national projects since 1988. Dr. Menéndez has published about 40 international publications about computer vision and image processing, both in international journals and conferences, and he is co-author of a book (in Spanish) about Audio and Video Technology for undergraduate engineering level.
Bachelor of Arts, X-rays installation operator, he develops projects on X-rays, UV, IR, visible studies on cultural assets at IPHE Physical Studies Section since 1970.
MARIÁN DEL EGIDO
Bachelor's Degree in Physical Science, Curator of Museums and Chief of IPHE Scientific Department since 2000, she is involved in several projects on scientific studies of cultural heritage.
Bachelor of Arts and Archaeology, Graduate in Conservation on the speciality of Archaeology and Assistant Curator of Museums, she is working at IPHE Physical Studies Section since 2005, contributing to develop research and publications about physical studies of cultural assets.
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MATERIALS USED IN ROMANIAN MANUSCRIPTS FROM 15th TO 19th CENTURY
by MIHAI I. A. LUPU
MIHAI I. A. LUPU
Introduction The paper presents the results of compared stereomicroscopy for the pigments used in the Romanian manuscripts dated between 15th and 19th century from the National Museum of Art of Romania (NAMR) collection. This type of analysis was done because it was not possible to take samples for microchemical analysis. An Olympus stereomicroscope SZ 60 was used to compare the pigments with others already determined. The results are presented synthetically and show similarities with the pigments used in the same period in Western Europe [1, 2]. Three different kinds of inks were determined: a black one - containing vegetable charcoal; a gold one - gold powder; and a red one cinnabar or red lead. The pigments correspond to all those already mentioned for that period: ceruse (white lead), ultramarine, azurite, smalt, malachite, red and yellow ochre, cinnabar and red lead, green and brown earth, massicot and litharge, orpiment and realgar, gold sheet and some unidentified organic pigments. Another possibility to make these analyses without sampling was carried out using the following in-situ techniques: X-ray Fluorescence (XRF), micro-Raman, Fiber-Optic Fourier Transform Mid-Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy and Near Infrared (NIR). This was possible due to the European research project MOLAB with the help of the University of Perugia in 2005 at Putna Monastery which focused on the research of the most important illuminated Romanian manuscripts from the 15th century. The results indicated the presence of: gelatine, iron gall ink and charcoal for the black ink; colloidal gold for the gold ink; and cinnabar for the red ink. According to the analyses, the results were similar to those obtained by stereo44
microscopy (SMC), but much more precise and it was possible to determine calcite and gypsum, even in very small quantities.  The Romanian Medieval Art Department of NMAR contains a collection of 33 illuminated manuscripts from the 13th to the 19th century, some written in Greek, some bilingual, written in Greek-Romanian and Slavonic-Romanian, one in Romanian written in Slavonic and one in Latin alphabet. This study presents the results of the microscopic research in the visible and U.V light for 13 of these artworks, for the pigments used in the miniature paintings and manuscripts decorations (Table 1), which were presented in the second volume of the book “Miniatura si ornamentul manuscriselor din Colectia de Arta Medievala Romaneasca”, published by Simetria, Bucharest (2006), written by the Romanian art historian Liana Tugearu.
Image 1, Manuscript Ms. 10/12617.
No. Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Gospel Gospel Gospel Gospel Gospel Gospel “Omliile” Gospel Gospel Gospel Gospel "Rand la slujba" "Talcuire"
Inventory No. Ms. 4/12611 Ms. 6/12613 Ms. 7/12614 Ms. 9/12616 Ms.12/12619 Ms.10/12617 Ms.31/68257 Ms.11/12618 Ms.13/12620 Ms.20/12627 Ms.21/12628 Ms.22/12629 Ms.18/12625
Year 1435-36 1511-12 1518-19 16th century 1579 1575 1581 1583 16th century 1940 1946 1656-57 ~1775
Language Slavonic / Bulgarian Slavonic / Romanian Slavonic / Romanian Slavonic / Romanian Slavonic / Romanian Slavonic / Romanian Slavonic / Romanian Slavonic / Serbian Slavonic / Romanian Slavonic / Romanian Slavonic / Romanian Slavonic / Romanian Slavonic / Russian Ukrainian
Monastery Neamt Neamt
County Moldavia Moldavia Walachia
Moldavia Walachia Moldavia Walachia Walachia Moldavia Walachia
Moldavia Walachia Kiev
Table 1. The studied manuscripts, the monasteries or counties where they were made and the period.
Results and discussions Table I presents in chronological order the studied manuscripts and the Monasteries or Counties where they were made. The Illuminated Manuscripts are written in the Slavonic alphabet, which was used in the official Romanian medieval documents and by the Orthodox Church between the 12th and the 19th century. The manuscripts were made in Moldavia, the north-east side of the Romanian present territory and in Walachia, the south-east region. The first of them was written in Bulgarian and the last one in Russian-Ukrainian language. Most part of the illuminated manuscripts have two different kinds of decorations: one of them is used for the beginning and the final parts of
Image 2. Manuscript Ms. 10/12617, detail of decoration.
each Gospel (images 1-3 and 5) while the other one depicts the images of the Four Evangelists. Sometimes the authors used the same pigments while other times differences between the number and the tones of the used colours can be seen. Identification of the materials was made by comparison with original pigments. The results are presented in Table 2.
MIHAI I. A. LUPU
Image 3, Manuscript Ms. 4/12611
Manuscris / Pigment Lead White Massicot Litharge Oripiment Realgar Yellow Ochre Red Lead Cinnabar Red Ochre Azurite Smalt Lapis lazuli Malachite Green Earth Brown Gold Indigo Black
Table 2. Pigment results. Pigments presence is shown by the coloured rectangles. The numbers of the manuscripts are correspondent to Table 1.
As an example, the manuscript MS 9/12616 from Putna Monastery, Moldavia will be presented. Decoration: red lead, red ochre, green earth, azurite, gold powder, litharge, candle black. Illustration: red lead, red lead + charcoal black, malachite, green earth, yellow ochre,
reddish-violet: cinnabar + lead white + azurite, azurite, red-orange: cinnabar, Natural Umber, charcoal black, pink: cinnabar + ceruse, gold powder, lead white (image 4). The difference between the decoration and illustration consists in the double number
MIHAI I. A. LUPU
of colours, 7 for the first and 14 for the second. The miniaturist tried to represent in a pictorial mode the Four Evangelists, and thus, he could not limit himself to use a smaller number of colours - he either mixed some of them or added more pigments. In this particular manuscript the technique is most similar with that used for the Byzantine Icons from the Balkan Peninsula (Greeks, Serbian, Bulgarian and Romanian) and Russia. The portraits are painted from dark colours (proplasma) to lighter ones. This method does not permit to see if the ground layer from the Gospel illustration is similar with that usually used for icons. In the Illuminated Manuscripts the original technique uses the whiteness of the vellum, prepared with lead white . Previous studies regarding Romanian icons from the same period and the comparison with the Illuminated Manuscripts indicate the use of best quality pigments (lapis-lazuli, massicot, litharge and orpiment), especially in the 15th century, when the Byzantine culture was very well represented in Moldavia and Walachia. Until the 18th century, gold was preponderantly used for text and illustration; after this, it was replaced with yellow ochre. Acknowledgements This study could not have been possible without the decisive contribution of Ms. Liana Tugearu, art historian, specialist in Romanian Illuminated Manuscripts. I would also like to thank my colleague, Carmen Tanasoiu, art conservator, for her help with the documentation for this paper.
Image 4. Manuscrpit Ms. 9/12616, Luke the Evangelist.
1. M. Clark, “The analysis of medieval European manuscripts”, Reviews in Conservation (2001), pp. 3-17 2. Cenino Cennini, “The Craftsman’s Handbook”, translated by Daniel V. Thompson, Jr., Dover Publications, New York (1960) 3. MOLAB, “User Report”, Access, Research and Technology for the Conservation of the European Cultural Heritage (2005) 4. J. Plesters, “Cross-section and Chemical Analysis of Paint Samples”, Studies in Conservation 2, (1956), pp. 134-155 5. M. I. A. Lupu, "Microchemical Analysis of Inorganic Materials used in Romanian 16th-19th Century Icons”, Part I, Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Non-destructive Testing and Microanalysis for the Diagnostics and Conservation of the Cultural and Environmental Heritage ART’99, Rome, May 1999, pp. 2141-2151 6. M. I. A. Lupu, “Microchemical Analysis of Inorganic Materials used in Romanian 16th-19th Century Icons”, Part II, Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Non-Destructive Testing and Microanalysis for the Diagnostics and Conservation of the Cultural and Environmental Heritage (ART 2002), Antwerp, 2-6 June 2002, pp. 631-639.
Image 5. Manuscript Ms. 6/12613, ensamble of decoration.
MIHAI I. A. LUPU
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS e_conservation magazine is open to the submission of articles on a wide range of relevant topics for the cultural heritage sector. Next deadlines for article submission are: for Issue 5, June 2008 – submission due 30 April 2008 for Issue 6, August 2008 – submission due 30 June 2008 Nevertheless, you can always submit your manuscript when it is ready. Between the receival of the manuscript until the final publication may pass up to 3 months according with: - the number of the manuscripts on hold, submitted earlier by other authors - the release date of the upcoming issue - the pre-allocated space in the magazine to each section Please check our publication guidelines for more information. Read more...
MIHAI I. A. LUPU
Contact: email@example.com Mihai Lupu is a conservator scientist at the Conservation Department of National Museum of Art (MNAR) from Bucharest. He has continuously worked in the conservation field since 32 years, performing research and acquiring experience in different materials such as metals, graphic documents, painting, mural painting and textiles. He collaborated on the analysis and conservation of the mural paintings from Agapia Monastery and several other painted monuments from Romania. The results of his research were published and presented at national and international conferences among which ART 1999, 2002 and 2005, Triennal ICOM-CC meetings in 1987, 1993 and 1996, METAL 1995 and 1998, etc. He was also member of the Artistic Components Commission, Ministry of Culture and Cults from Romania. National Museum of Art of Romania Calea Victoriei 49-53, Bucharest Romania www.mnar.arts.ro Phone: 0040-21-313 30 30 Fax: 0040-21-312 43 27
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GEORGES DE BATZ
The Mysterious Case of an Art Collector Extraordinary Found by Examination of a Painting
by NICCOLO CALDARARO
GEORGES DE BATZ
Cultural objects appear in our museums as the result of the efforts of particular individuals who decide to collect certain kinds of objects for a variety of personal reasons. As a cultural trait we find collections in many different cultures, civilizations and different periods of history. One example is the Aztec collections mentioned by many of the Spanish at the time of their contact with Native American societies and summarized by Pietro de Marytr in the early 16th century. This paper investigates two mysteries; one describes the personal journey of one modern collector, whose contributions to two major American museums were substantial, but whose history is little known especially regarding his demise and the dispersal of his personal fortune; the other mystery surrounds a huge painting he possessed and its examination.
Part I: The Nature of the Collector The story of Georges de Batz, accomplished collector and dealer in fine arts, encompasses two mysteries, one which is about his fortune and another which tells the tale of the authenticity of a painting he possessed at his death. I first met Georges de Batz (Figure 1) in early 1979 when I accompanied Achenbach Foundation Assistant Curator Maxine Rosston to his home on Polk Street in San Francisco. It was not the usual duty for a museum professional. I was to provide moral support and act as that kind of convenient person who can produce the reminder that it is time to leave. This was really the most essential part of my role as I was to learn later, since Mr. de Batz was neither threatening nor formidable. He was, simply, very talkative and very eccentric. Rather "San Francisco" in many ways. I worked in the Achenbach Foundation with the Western Regional Paper Conservation Laboratory and Painting Conservation Departments of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. The latter Department was really made up of Ms. Terri Picante and myself at the time. Mostly we worked at the De Young Museum as the studio
at the Legion of Honor was only the size of a large dining room. It was so small we often had to take large paintings into the hallway to turn them around or over to be able to work on the verso or recto. However, my museum duties did not qualify me for my task that day. Frankly, I was chosen mainly due to the fact that I was a young man and being such I would function as a distraction for the purpose of Mrs. Rosston's visit. Achenbach Foundation Director-in-Charge, Robert Johnson had agreed with Ms. Rosston that she should not go to Mr. de Batz' apartment without a "second". Her mission was to deliver a check to de Batz, an installment payment for the part purchase and part donation of his rather lavish, but at the same time, curious and frustrating collection of prints and drawings. This arrangement had been negotiated some years before by then Museum Director Mr. Thomas Carr Howe and its arrival was as rewarding a treasure as its owner was an enigma. I could not conceive that my brief meeting with this strange but brilliant little man that
day would connect with a grand mystery related to another fabulous work of art of which he was the central character. For several years I had occasionally seen Mr. de Batz in the Achenbach speaking with Mrs. Rosston and Mr. Johnson. This was always an animated affair, either de Batz was upset and angry or happy and almost delirious. His range of mood was both unexpected and unnerving. As he was a small man, with a robust and fleshy body, his intensity was a surprise, yet since he spoke French as his native tongue his English became unintelligible as his ardor increased. One was left with a great deal of consternation at how to regard and respond to his distress or joy. Mr. de Batz had been a collector known to curators and dealers from coast to coast in America. His achievements live on in both the Achenbach Foundation and in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) Asian Art collection, which were first displayed at the Museum in Boston in 1953. Both de Batz' connoisseurship and his generosity are reflected in his museum donations. He was as great a mystery as his collections were rich. According to art historian Allen E.J. Carr, de Batz' father had also been a collector and dealer of fine art in France. In the preface to the Boston MFA catalogue of the de Batz collection , Curator George Boas tells us that Georges de Batz came to the U.S. in the autumn of 1939 on the last ship leaving France as the Second World War began. Georges arrived with his baggage filled with drawings. From the beginning of his arrival he impressed all he met with a wonder for things, from art to "Christmas tree ornaments from Woolworths". His taste was of such developed quality that friends and colleagues soon recognized the virtuoso that he was, which was certainly remarkable for how deeply moved he was by every purchase. His home was considered a private museum
Figure 1. Photographic image of Georges de Batz, published in the San Francisco Examiner.
by collector and scholar and was so renowned that a photograph of a part of the interior was included in the Boston catalogue. From Shang bronzes to Rembrandt drawings, his apartment was seen as a most special creation of a rather rare character. Yet, if we look for other images of that character, of personal elements of his life and history, we are defeated. His abilities are legion in regard to the arts and we are told that Johns Hopkins University produced several exhibitions (19401942) organized by de Batz of Persian manuscripts, old silver, glass, jewelry, textiles, miniatures
GEORGES DE BATZ
and paintings. His activities aided the education of students from 1939 to 1942 by providing the most exquisite experiences of art and beauty; demonstrations with examples of encounters he had had with artists, musicians, etc. followed by discussions or lectures of the most lively nature. He organized a catalogue of the art of Vincent van Gogh in aid of the American and Dutch war relief at Wildenstein in 1943 and wrote a number of catalogues for other exhibitions at Johns Hopkins and Wildenstein at the end of the Second World War. But despite all this, we know little of the man himself. The time that I visited his apartment in San Francisco with Mrs. Rosston his garrulous nature exposed me to a variety of rich vignettes of famous people – artists, collectors, military generals, poets, the rich; and within these tales would be found the lesson of his great "finds". A Michelangelo here, a Chasseriau there, and so on. This was the stock in trade of his conversation, as I recall from his visits to the Achenbach and from the comments of others concerning their meetings with him. His apartment was luxuriously decorated but a bit crowded and rather cluttered with curios, artifacts, books, papers and magazines pilled about here and there on chairs, tables and the floor. Still, there seemed to be order and not chaos as he produced objects and documents from amid these mounds at will to illustrate some point or story. It was common knowledge around the Museum that de Batz had been a friend of former Achenbach Director E. Gunter Troche. Former Achenbach Curator Fenton Kastner and former Asian Art Museum Conservator, Alex Penkovic often spoke of their association and how this friendship between collector and Director had
His apartment was luxuriously decorated but a bit crowded and rather cluttered with curios, artifacts, books, papers and magazines pilled about here and there on chairs, tables and the floor.
involved both shining lights of exhibitions and art for the Museums, and shadows of the Second World War, including trips to Argentina and Uruguay. Darker recollections were made about earlier acquaintances in Europe before the Second World War. It was rumored that Troche had come to the USA from South America where he had been a dealer of fine art. His resumé lacked a certain precision during the period of the Second World War in Germany and after, and encouraged some rumors and speculation. But this element of the fragmented history and mystery of the life of Georges de Batz did not become important until I was asked to look at huge painting more than a decade later owned by Mr. Herbert Hoover of San Francisco. Mr. Hoover is a successful dealer and appraiser of fine art and once owned a commercial art gallery in San Francisco. He is also the author of a book on the art scene in San Francisco in the 1980s. In the mid 1990s I conserved a number of paintings for Mr. Hoover. One day Mr. Hoover called me to come and examine a large canvas he had purchased in the 1980s which had suffered a blow to the surface (Figure 2).
Figure 2. Roger de la Fresnaye painting in Hoover Collection.
This was a large figurative work of a seated man, painted on an absorbent ground, typical of paintings produced in Europe by a number of painters around the turn of the 20th century and into the 20s and 30s. Mr. Hoover had purchased the painting at an auction held at Butterfields of de Batz' estate. It had been sold as a rug, unframed and folded several times. But when he opened it up, he saw it was a painting. At that time, the late 1980s, he had it framed. He later purchased a Germain Seligman monograph on the French artist, Roger de la Fresnaye. The book had belonged to de Batz and contained the original dedication from Seligman to de Batz as well as many letters from Seligman to de Batz relating friendly and warm correspondence (Figure 3, see online Appendix). In order to conserve the painting I needed information about the absorbent ground, pigments and the working method of the artist. Such analytical work is not thought to be
Figure 3. Letter from Seligman to Georges de Batz. See also the online Appendix with photographs of letters glued into a book owned by Mr. Georges de Batz.
GEORGES DE BATZ
Figure 4. Report on analysis of samples by Walter Mcrone.
always necessary in conservation, but is however very helpful, if not crucial, and in this case, it was important since understanding the ground was essential to the conservation of the work. Mr. Hoover thought that the painting might be by de la Fresnaye, as the catalogue contained a number of images similar to that in the painting and the technique seemed quite similar. I took samples of the pigment from the painting and sent them to Walter McCrone, an international forensic scientist and expert on pigments and grounds. He compared the pigment from the Hoover painting to samples sent from museums which owned other de la Fresnaye paintings. The pigments were so similar and the grounds as well, that McCrone concluded that the Hoover painting was produced by the same artist using the same palette (see report, Figure 4). There was a nagging question about the painting that bothered me. It was not listed in the monograph by Seligman  and although
Seligman stated in the text that it was not complete, it seemed strange that someone as familiar with Seligman as de Batz would possess a major work by the artist and not share it with his friend so it might be included in the artist’s anthology. I contacted the Boston MFA to find out if any personal papers or other information on de Batz were available. None were, and they surveyed local collectors for me to no avail. Mr. Hoover did the same at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, but nothing was found. Dr. Catherine C. Bock-Weiss of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, who had written on de la Fresnaye considered the painting a possible work by the artist, but could offer no information on de Batz or Seligman. She speculated that de la Fresnaye had been involved in a number of salons and performances. He was known to have been a friend of artist Marie Laurencin who was active in the production of drawings for the Ballets Russes.
It still seemed as if de Batz had no past at all, we could find little about the man as he lived except for his passion of collecting art and donating to the public.
This association is also mentioned by Seligman . I had extensive conversations with Nancy Van Norman Baer about Laurencin's work in the 1980s and recognized that the materials often used in this setting bore a similarity to the Hoover painting. For example, the canvas fiber of the Picasso "Rideau…" in the Pompidu Center in Paris, which I have seen, is the same. BockWeiss suggested I speak to a Mr. Robert M. Murdock who had interviewed Seligman and had done some research on de la Fresnaye. Mr. Murdock was helpful, contacting local collectors for information on de Batz, but could not enlighten us either about the painting or the Seligman/de Batz relationship. While he had met Seligman, he did not have access to his papers. Attempts to contact the family were also not successful. He suggested Dr. Kenneth Silver at New York University, who had written about de la Fresnaye . I contacted Dr. Silver who was interested in helping and thought we might meet when I examined a painting by de la Fresnaye at the The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. We were disappointed when we viewed the painting however, as it had been lined and coated with a heavy varnish. Nevertheless, Dr. Silver contributed some advice concerning both the Selgiman/de Batz link and the nature
of the Hoover painting. A picture of the artist and the complication of his life came into focus as a factor in the fate of the painting. We had known that de la Fresnaye had been a war hero in France after the First World War, and that his fame was doubled by the tragic wounds he had received which prematurely ended his life and career. Unexpectedly, however, Silver related that de la Fresnaye was homosexual and that this was entwined with the family’s regard for him and his public assessment. A relative had controlled the sale of his work after the war and then after his death. Paintings and other works had been distributed to friends and lovers and there was a marked coolness between family and de la Fresnaye’s friends. Silver and Murdock both suggested that access to work might have been limited to Seligman and that de Batz, who was also of the same sexual inclination may have had access to other sources not available to the family or to Seligman. What might also have been true, according to Silver, was that the Hoover painting may have been the property of families which were dispossessed by the Nazis. Thus we had at least two explanations of why the painting would not appear in the Seligman book; firstly that it had been given to a lover or friend renounced by the family and unavailable to Seligman when he wrote the book, and secondly that it had been seized by the Nazis and was illegal contraband which de Batz had somehow acquired. It still seemed as if de Batz had no past at all, we could find little about the man as he lived except for his passion of collecting art and donating to the public. So we decided to seek him posthumously. We went to the auction house, Butterfield's for clues. Here we came to another dead end. Their records were only kept for five years and then destroyed. So we went
GEORGES DE BATZ
to the probate court to find what might have been the disposition of his property and perhaps his papers. Here again, we were disappointed. The probate court had the files containing his property and the sales, papers filed by this lawyer, Bruce Walkup when de Batz was found unable to care for himself and was removed to a care facility in the early 1980s. We found the documents created by Walkup for the sale of de Batz's art but nothing that could give us a clear picture of what had been the origin of the painting or its relation to de Batz. To our amazement, we also found another mystery, in the final disposition of the de Batz estate, the last file of the probate was missing. We could not trace where his personal effects went or who received the more than $1 million in proceeds from the sale of his art and property. I called the Walkup office in San Francisco to find that Mr. Walkup had died some years ago. I was able to speak with the woman who had been his secretary. But when I asked about the files for Walkup's work with de Batz she informed me that the office did not have them. She told me to go to the de Batz Foundation. I contacted the Georges de Batz Trust for the Arts, whose only trustee was a Mr. Henry W. Howard, who was quite elderly and seemed confused each time when I spoke to him. I did find out that he did not have any files or personal effects of de Batz. I asked if there were any publications of the Foundation, or other documentation of the work of the Foundation. He said the Foundation had been only himself and that he had given the money away over the years to art organizations and religious charities, especially those that had programs for children. I was told there were no publications about this giving, and that no records were kept. Mr. Hoover could not believe this report on the Foundation,
and so he arranged to meet Mr. Howard. This was delayed several times due to Mr. Howard's illness, but when it took place he found the information was correct. There were no records, the Foundation was nearly out of money and Mr. Howard referred us back to Walkup's office. We contacted the Walkup offices again but were told they had nothing relating to de Batz or the Foundation. I called a number of arts organizations in San Francisco and a few recalled that they had had visits by an elderly man once in a while who would hand them a check for $10,000 or so. And thus Georges de Batz' life was as much a mystery as the dispersal of his fortune and yet, Mr. Hoover's painting is a masterwork of a man sitting in a chair surveying a world with such interest that one can only imagine the bemused face of de Batz looking out amid the cubist fragments. Part II: Conservation Examination for Treatment: its role in Research using a case study of a painting by Roger de la Fresnaye from the Collection of Herbert Hoover 6/01 1. Introduction The conservator is often faced with difficult problems presented by paintings. These problems can include multiple layers which lack adhesion, sometimes caused by poor execution by the artists, by inadequate storage conditions, incorrect methodology of application, etc. Perhaps the problem may reside in determining the original paint from overpainting and attempting to resolve with the curator or owner a balanced treatment which reflects the intent of the artist . Questions of authorship often arise which can only be addressed by reference
to the analysis of similar types based on scientific analysis . In these cases the conservator can be asked to join in the art historical or curatorial debate to investigate fakes, forgeries and reproductions [6, 7]. Often, however, even the best efforts are defeated by the ideas of art styles of the time and the development of fashionable tastes that influence the concept of the original . A good example of this is the Shapira Scroll, a scroll made of skin presented to the British Museum and other public and private collections in the last century as an original volume from the ancient libraries of Israel . As Kahle and I described , the scroll appeared too new in the context of other scroll fragments from the same period, but when a detailed examination of the state of preservation of these scrolls was put in series and related to the variations in manufacture and how conditions of storage affected ageing, then the condition of the Schapira scroll could be understood and found to be authentic . We will never know, unfortunately, for the Schapira scroll disappeared. At times our laboratory has been asked to solve relatively simple conservation tasks only to become involved in more elaborate forensic work. One case of this kind is the Hoover painting which was brought to our attention due to distortions in the canvas with a rough and uneven surface. The owner was concerned that the painting appeared to be suffering some deterioration. In this section of this article I will describe our attempt to identify the condition of the painting and to study its materials and method of execution, both essential to understanding the appearance of the painting and its conservation and yet, secondarily, productive in information to the determination of its authenticity.
At times our laboratory has been asked to solve relatively simple conservation tasks only to become involved in more elaborate forensic work.
2. Canvas A sample of the canvas was taken at the top right area above the strainer on the verso of the painting. Several samples of paint and ground were taken from the verso of the canvas, all pigments were sampled. The canvas sample was compared with the fiber content of several la Fresnaye paintings in American collections. The Hemp-like fiber of the Hoover painting can be found in the sample from the Philadelphia Museum of Art (which also has a open weave, gauze-like appearance) and it is well known that fibers used for artist's canvas at the turn of this century were quite varied and many contained mixed fibers . This painting is on a wide woven fabric (likely a species of hemp). Fiber comparison was made with samples from several museums (see Table 1). Comparison with standard reference samples [13, 14] indicates hemp. This fiber is found in paintings of the period 1900 to 1940 by a number of painters including, Kirchner, Stat-geschiter (1911), Paul Klee, Uberschach (1937), Ferinand Hodler in his monumental mural scenes at the Zurich Kunsthaus, Jacques Lipchitz in his "Personnage Debout" (1916), Fernand Leger, in "Le reveil-matin" (1914), and his "Feme en rouge et vert" (1914), in Picasso's "Nature Morte" (1922), in Sonia Delaunay's "Prismes electriques" (1914) and Nathalie Gontcharova's
GEORGES DE BATZ
"Les porteubes" (1911), and was used in numerous other paintings of the period. However, the specific wide weave of the Hoover canvas is found on a subset of these works, both large and small, but generally they are larger. Interestingly, the Hoover canvas is nearly identical in weave size, fiber color to a large theatrical background by Picasso, "Rideau pour le ballet", "Mercure" (1924) and the already mentioned Hodler mural. The painting measures approximately 7 feet by 10 and one-half feet, but this may not have been the original size as it has been recently mounted onto a strainer, while holes in the canvas indicate an earlier mount which may have been slightly smaller. These unusual marks and holes may be related to its original use, perhaps in a theatrical installation or ballet piece. 3. Paint and Ground The pigment appears to be in an oil medium, but rather very flat and brittle like tempera, coated in lower center and central figure areas with a shiny media. The appearance is similar to that described for French paintings of the period that are categorized as painted on "absorbent canvas" [15, 16]. While there was variation in why artists used absorbent canvases and speculation about this by art historians and conservators , in general an attitude was present that associated the absorbent canvas with a prohibition against varnishing. Test results from Harlan Associates for the ground by FT-IR show it to be composed of barium sulfate and lead chromate with calcium carbonate as a minor component. It also contains an ester polymer indicating a natural resin or oil. If it is oil, it was applied with
a lower oil to pigment ratio. Barium sulfate was a frequent component of grounds used by French painters in absorbent ground paintings according to Bomford et al., 1990. This is similar to the paint described for "Les Collines au-delà de Meulan", in the collection of the Indianapolis Museum of Art . Present tests of the Hoover Collection painting with gas chromatography and IR spectrographic analysis indicate a linseed oil medium. Pigments include aluminum silicate, barium sulfate and lead chromate (green chromate) and zinc stearate . The ground which la Fresnaye used in his "The Conquest of Air", in the collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art is primarily lead white and a small amount of calcite  (see Figure 5 for detail of pigment on canvas). Analysis of pigments in a number of paintings by de la Fresnaye in American collections and the Hoover painting conducted by McCrone Associates demonstrated the pigments were virtually identical and probably from the same palette (see copy of McCrone report, Figure 3). The ground is very thin, coarse, and mixed with pigment in most of the canvas. Thin, incompletely applied grounds are found on la Fresnaye paintings in the U.S.A., e.g., "Les collines au-delà de Meulan" at the Indianapolis Museum of Art . A sample of the ground was also analyzed by Harlan Associates indicating it was primarily composed of barium sulfate and zinc stearate with a binder of an oil containing palmitic acid and stearic acid by FT-IR. Emission spectrographic analysis produced results of barium and zinc, calcium, magnesium, aluminum, iron, silicon and copper. Barium sulfate was a frequent component of grounds used by French painters in absorbent ground paintings according to Jirat-Wasiutynski & Newton .
Figure 5. Close-up of paint surface of de la Fresnaye painting
The size of the original canvas is unknown as it was purchased wrapped into squares. The size of the painting, which is now 7 feet high by 10 and 1/2 foot in length (Figure 2), is very similar to that of "The Conquest of Air". There is evidence of an unusual installation of the painting on the canvas as mentioned. This evidence is contained in tacking holes in the canvas as a tacking edge and by tacking holes which are either painted around by the artist or had a plate or other cover over them during the execution of the work. This may be remnants of how the artist set the canvas for painting on a temporary easel, or as attached to a wall in the studio (marouflage). However, this could indicate the canvas was used as a theatrical background as the "Picasso Rideau...". The distortions in the canvas from folding are not severe and are only noticeable in raking light. Transmitted light, however, demonstrated the same feature of the design soaking through the canvas as in the absorbent ground paintings
examined by Jirat-Wasiutynski & Newton . No damage to the paint layer has resulted and thus I did not recommend an extensive cleaning, remounting or other treatment at the time other than a light surface cleaning and adjustment of sagging in some areas of the canvas by re-stretching. A number of paintings by de la Fresnaye are in public collections in the U.S.A. and were identified by use of the catalogue raisonné by Germain Seligman . A survey of these paintings was undertaken to acquire any available technical information (Table 1). Many of de la Fresnaye's paintings in America are lined and this limits the ability to sample both fiber and ground for testing. A detailed study of "The Conquest of Air" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City was conducted to compare surface features, tonality, canvas and ground. The exercise was not very fruitful as the painting had not only been varnished
GEORGES DE BATZ
heavily, but had been relined with the waxresin method by the Kecks. They had removed an earlier heavy varnish which had yellowed . However, in conversation with Dr. Steven Silver of New York University (NYU), we noticed that the painting shared some similarities of execution with the Hoover canvas, most apparent was the incomplete application of ground and pigment leaving areas of raw canvas and ground as part of the painting surface. This has been shown to be common
Metropolitan Museum of Art
in many of de la Fresnaye's works. The de la Fresnaye painting, "Le Cuirassier" (1910-11) is now at the Musee d'Art Contemporary of the City of Paris and appears to be varnished. I could not examine the verso to determine if it had been lined, however. The fiber appears to be linen and close-weaved. The de la Fresnaye, "Le Quatorze Juillet" (1914) is also painted on linen and is close-weaved. It does not show the same ground as the Hoover painting.
Nature Morte aux pommes avec pichet de faience Portrait: Goerges de Mire Nature Morte a la bouteille, pipe et pot a tabac
tests results not available linen ?
tests results not available linen ? linen linen/hemp "linen-like fiber" open filled with wax ? open weave open weave open weave gauze-like
Metropolitan Museum of Art A. Silbermann Galleries, New York Indianapolis Museum of Art Philadelphia Museum of Art Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo
La conquete de l'Air L'Homme Buvant et chantant (gallery defunct) Les Collines au-delà de Meulan Le village de Meulan Marie Ressort avec ses vaches, la Berbere Nature morte aux trois anses
results not available cotton-linen blend close weave
Minneapolis Institute of Art Barnes Foundation Museum of Art, Toledo
La vie conjugale La vie conjugale Nature morte a la cafetiere
results not available linen light weight plain weave
examined by Richard Buck, found “normal” ground. Phillips Collection, Washington Sara Lee Corporation (now in collection of Houston Museum of Fine Arts) M. Knoedler & Co. La Mappemonde Les Baigneurs canvas relined no sample possible sample pending
Portrait de L'Artiste Grande nature morte aux tasses blanches
not available not available (on panel) probably linen probably linen close weave close weave
Musee Contemporary City of Paris
Le Quatorze Juillet Le Cuirassier
Table 1. Fiber analysis of Canvas Information in Museum or Gallery Publications or provided by phone conversations with institution staff.
The Conquest of Air Georges De Mire Hoover Frederick Church Les Collines au-delà de Meulan
lead white/calcite Calcium carbonate Barium sulfate/ zinc stearate Calcium carbonate and glue Barium, zinc, calcium, Magnesium, iron, silicon, copper
Ordonez Harlan Harlan Zucker (reported in Jirat Wasiutynski, 1998) Harlan
Table 2 - Results of Ground and Pigment Tests
Design and Execution The design of the Hoover de la Fresnaye is similar to "L'Homme Assis" (1913-1914) in the Musee National d'Art Moderne which is smaller (131x162cm) and less so to "Le Quatorze Juillet" (1914) which is very small in comparison (74x 92cm). The largest of these two is, therefore, almost 1/2 the size of the Hoover painting. However, the La Conquete de L'Air (1913) is 107x89 inches approximately, making it almost exactly the same size. As Seligman states about these other two paintings, they were painted in the period of the years of the great figure compositions and still-lifes. We must assume that if the Hoover painting is a de la Fresnaye it would have to have been painted during this time. Seligman refers  to de la Fresnaye's admiration of Italian frescos which one biographer notes is where he derived his fresco-like quality of image and tone. Such an admiration would insensibly lead to a desire to paint in a large format. Cogninet & George  come to a similar conclusion. The support for the painting, a rough open-weave fabric, is more characteristic of ad hoc theatrical sets as in a scrim for a Ballets Russes and de la Fresnaye's association with artist Marie Laurencin  places de la Fresnaye in the company of artists who regularly worked in the theater [25;26]. This may be improbable by the fact that most of Diaghilev's stage settings were painted in water based pigments on the
floor. All this parallels many other French paintings of the period where the paint soaks through the canvas  (Figure 6). De la Fresnaye produced a number of works of varied subjects which were curious in intent and also never exhibited in any of the salons, like the "Jeanne d'Arc" (1912). More interesting is the fact that de la Fresnaye was interested in the color experiments of Robert Delaunay  and that "La Conquete de l'Air" is characterized as an experiment in pure color as Delaunay was conducting. Many of de la Fresnaye's paintings are executed on an absorbent ground similar to that seen in Delaunay's paintings. It is in the gradual increase in such experiment in color and size of painting that we find a place for the Hoover de la Fresnaye, as Seligman argues that in "Le Quatorze Juillet" de la Fresnaye had heroic proportions in mind for the final version of the canvas . Between 1912 and the first 7 months of 1914 de la Fresnaye's production was considerable and in the pressure of the time an ad hoc work on a fairly cheap support might be expected which approaches the limits of grandeur. This is, nevertheless, a dangerous place to approach, for most fakes and forgeries tend to be created to fill in such missing pieces of an artist's
GEORGES DE BATZ
Figure 6. Verso of de la Fresnaye painting in transmitted light
work, the expected great masterpiece which completes a series . As Seligman states , "Le Quatorze Juillet" was destined to remain an unfinished monument to an unfinished life. Still, we lack the analysis of the ground of "La Conquete de l'Air", though we have the results of the analysis of the Hoover painting and the Georges De Mire. It would be interesting to compare these results with an analysis of the pigment in the painting in the Musee National d'Art Moderne ("L'Homme assis"), with closeup photos of the weave in the Hoover and Paris paintings, which might provide additional materials to our analysis. Analysis of a surface sample from "La Conquete de l'Air" by Eugena Ordonez  - which may prove to be ground, although she was not entirely sure - showed the sample to be lead white and a small amount of calcite.
As in the mystery of the dispersal of de Batz's fortune, we cannot solve the problem either of the authenticity of the painting nor of its provenance.
Conclusion The working method in the Hoover painting compared to that in "Les Collines au-delà de Meulan" show considerable similarity, with areas scraped and reworked*, but with similar color schema piled, drawn and pared down. More studies of de la Fresnaye paintings for working method evidence will enhance our understanding
*References to condition and examination notes of paintings taken from documents supplied by various museums and private collectors.
of de la Fresnaye's approach. The combination of the scientific data available from a number of other de la Fresnaye paintings, compared with paintings by other artists of the period provide a strong basis for placing the Hoover de la Fresnaye in context with the body of work by Roger de la Fresnaye. Further art historical information is necessary although the information on Georges de Batz and his relationship with Seligman contained in their letters is compelling but does requires some clarification. What is reproduced in Figure 4 and the online Appendix are photographs of letters glued into a book owned by Mr. Georges de Batz. The letters are written by Seligman to de Batz and indicate an intimate relationship. Information drawn from the papers of Mr. Herbert Hoover, including a sales receipt, show that the Hoover painting was purchased from Butterfield's auction a few years after the main sale of the de Batz estate. Conversations with the executor of the de Batz estate and the Director of the Georges de Batz Foundation, demonstrate that many of the paintings from the de Batz house and the estate were disposed of outside of the initial Butterfield's sale. Some of these were accomplished by the first lawyer for the estate, Bruce Walkup. The physical evidence of the materials of the painting, the method of execution and the presence of the painting in San Francisco at the same auction house as the sale of the de Batz collection and de Batz's connection with Seligman all go far to establishing a link between the painting and Roger de la Fresnaye. It is not the place for a conservator to determine an attribution of a painting, rather we more often provide evidence which undermines such attributions. In this case we have investigated each and every aspect of the painting
in a physical sense and attempted to disprove its association with the painter. We have come to the conclusion, however, that this cannot be achieved, nor, however, can we use this same information to establish, without a doubt that the painting is by the artist. It is simply beyond our brief and yet we can recognize that the painting shares material and aesthetic qualities with works of that artist. Yet as in the mystery of the dispersal of de Batz's fortune, we cannot solve the problem either of the authenticity of the painting nor of its provenance. How de Batz gained possession of this painting is a mystery, though we know that the Ballet Russes did come to New York in the early part of the last century so if the painting was created for the Ballet it could have come to America then. Yet de Batz or his father, who was also a collector, could have acquired the painting in France before the Second World War or directly from de la Fresnaye. All of our questions remain open and yet the trail has gone cold. In every case Georges de Batz remains, like the painting, an intriguing enigma waiting for solution. Acknowledgements A research project like this one cannot be carried out without the cooperation and genuine professional care of many conservators, collectors, art historians and scientists. I am especially indebted to Walter McCrone and his wife/colaborator, Lucy for the analysis of pigments from several museums. The willingness of institutions to provide samples and take the time to take them and label and send them was of great benefit and I am both humbled and heartened by their dedication to building our knowledge. David Miller & Don Steele of the Indianapolis Museum of Art helped in this way, but also provided other information about the
GEORGES DE BATZ
de la Fresnaye in their collection and worked with the curators there to answer other questions. The same role was played by David Marquis, of the Upper Midwest Conservation Association Laboratory, Suzanne Penn of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Lucy Belloli of the Metropolitan Museum of Art was also of assistance, Jim Coddington, Michael Duffy, Eugena Ordonez and Christopher McGlinchey of the New York Museum of Modern Art, Andrea Guidi di Bagno and Wynne H. Phelan of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Professor Catherine C. Bock-Weiss of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Dr. Kenneth E. Silver of New York University, Dr. Linda D. Henderson of The University of Texas at Austin, and Mr. Robert M. Murdock of New York. References
1. George Boas, “An Exhibition of The deBatz Collection”, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, 1953. 2. Germain Seligman, “Roger de la Fresnaye with a Catalogue Raisonne”, New York Graphic Society, 1969. 3. Kenneth E. Silver, “Esprit de Corps: The Art of the Parisian avant-garde and the First World War, 19141925”, Thames and Hudson, London, 1989. 4. Eric C. Hulmer, “The Role of Conservation in Connoisseurship”, University of Pittsburgh 1955 (available from University Microfilms International, Ann Arbor, Michigan). 5. N. Caldararo, "Fake or transitional form? Analysis of a purported Pre-Columbian Olmec artifact and comparison with similar published objects from Mesoamerica", Mexicon, vol. 23, June 2000, pp. 58-63. 6. N. Caldararo, "Tribal art: authenticity and 'fakes'", Antique West, Feb., 1992, pp. 2,6,32. 7. N. Caldararo, "Profiting from reproductions", Archaeology, 46, 2, 1993, pp. 14. 8. C. Caple, “Conservation Skills: Judgement, Method and Decision Making”, Routledge, London, 2000. 9. J. M. Allegro, “The Shapira Affair”, Doubleday, Garden City, 1965. 10. T. B. Kahle and N. Caldararo, "State of preservation of the Dead Sea Scrolls", Nature, vol. 321, n. 6066, 8 May,1986, pp. 121-2.
11. N. Caldararo, "Storage conditions and physical treatments relating to the dating of the Dead Sea Scrolls", Radiocarbon, 37, 21-32, 1994. 12. Katrina Vanderlip Carbonnel, "A study of French painting canvases", JAIC, vol. 20, n. 1, 1981, pp. 3-20. 13. W. A. Cote (ed.), "Papermaking Fibers", Syracuse University Press, 1980. 14. Marilou Florian, "Identification of plant and animal materials in artifacts", in M. Florian, D. P. Kronkright, and R. Norton, Conservation of Artifacts Made from Plant Materials, Getty Trust, Princeton U. Press, 1990, pp. 29-79. 15. L. Mayer and G. Myers, "American Impressionism, Matteness and Varnishing", JAIC, vol. 43, n. 3, 2004, pp. 237-254. 16. A. Katlan, "American Artists’ Materials", vol. 2, Madison, Conn., Soundview Press, 1992. 17. D. Bomford, J. Kirby, J. Leighton and A. Roy, "Art in the Making: Impressionism", National Gallery, London, 1990. 18. David Miller, Personal Communication, 1998. 19. Harlan & Associates, "Report on the results of GS and IR spectrographic analysis of samples from the Hoover Painting", 1997. 20. Eugena Ordonez, Personal Communication, 1997. 21. D. Steele, D. Marquis and D. Miller, Personal Communications, 1997. 22. V. Jirat-Wasiutynski and T. Newton, "Absorbent grounds and the matt aesthetic in Post Impressionist painting," in Painting Techniques: History, Materials and Studio, Contributions to the Dublin Congress, 7-11 September 1998, ed. A. Roy and P. Smith, London, IIC, pp. 235-9. 23. Sheldon and Caroline K. Keck, Conservation Report, dated 9/9/48. 24. Raymond Cogniat and Waldemar George, "Oeuvre Complete: Roger de la Fresnaye”, Paris, editions Rivarol, 1950. 25. Nancy Van Norman Baer, “Bronislava Nijinska: A Dancer's Legacy”, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 1986. 26. Van Norman Baer, Personal Communication, 1984-88 (and my own personal experience and research while working with artifacts from the Ballets Russes in several shows installed in the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco). 27. O. Kurz, “Fakes”, Faber and Faber, New York, 1967, ed. Dover Books. 28. Eugena Ordonez, Personal Communication, 1997.
CONSERVATION ART SERVICE, Caldararo@aol.com
P.O. Box 77570, San Francisco, California 94107
Niccolo Caldararo is Director and Chief Conservator of Conservation Art Service in San Francisco, a private conservation laboratory. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at San Francisco State University. He received his BA in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1970 after working in the Anthropology Department's Archaeology Laboratory under J. Desmond Clark. He received his MA in Anthropology with a specialization in archaeological conservation in 1983 from San Francisco State University, having set up a conservation laboratory at the University's Tiburon Center for archaeological excavations on Da Silva Island for Dr. Gary Pahl. Niccolo's research in conservation was concerned with the evolution of decision making with specific focus on treatment development by different conservators dealing with similar problems, and the durability of treatments over time. One publication that resulted from this research was published in Studies in Conservation, v. 42, 1997:157-164 on painted surfaces on ceramic and glass. Another was just published in the AIC Objects Specialty Group's Postprints for the 2004 Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon mainly on the use of ultrasound and benefited form work with Robert Organ and John Asmus.
Today his research is organized around how different peoples preserve their heritage in contrast with his nearly 20 CAP reports on specific museums and historical societies in the USA in the past 20 years. Niccolo has been employed by a number of museums over the past 30 years including the California Academy of Sciences, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the De Young Museum and the California Palace of the Legion of Honor.
SURVEY AND DRAWING FOR A CONSERVATION-RESTORATION PROJECT. A STUDY FOR GENOA AND SAVONA
Contribute to conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage in Europe
by GIULIA PELLEGRI
THE WATERFRONT OF GENOA Studies and Surveys Introduction This article concerns the facades of the waterfront of Genoa in Italy, and puts in evidence the studies about the actual architectonic configuration principally through the deep analysis of the medieval building components. The 31 single facades of the urban front have been surveyed and drawn in scale 1:50 in order to evidence and to study the architectonic, stylistic, structural, decorative and typological characImage 1
teristics. The architectonic and decorative particulars have been drawn in scale of 1:20, such as building textures which are particular interesting as far as the study of wall stratification units (Unità Stratigrafiche Murarie) are concerned. The work was developed on the basis of three fundamental themes: Analysis, Survey and Evolution. Analysis is the first step of the historical and iconographic research; survey is a very important knowledge instrument, both architectonic and formal, especially through the study of the drawing representation of the building materials; evolution and building transformations are the basis to find the original medieval typologies.
SURVEY AND DRAWING FOR CONSERVATION
The survey is not only the process of measuring a building’s form. In fact the critical survey, supported by studies about history, townplanning situations and cultural incidences, is a scientific method to analyse the building’s typological, structural, distributive, linguistic and stylistic characteristics. From this point of view, historical research becomes essential to the survey phase as fundamental knowledge instrument. Historiography, historical cartography and iconography represent very important steps during the study; many pencil proportional drawings of the facades and studies about the planimetrical development connected to Genoa’s historical centre were made. The first survey stage consisted in direct measurements which were compared by the means of more sophisticated survey instruments such as Nikon total station and photogrammetry software (straightened photos). The archaeological stratifications bases were applied to some parts of the fronts to put in evidence the historical sequences and to help to the comprehension of the original aspect and architectonic form. The final step of the study concerns the drawing up of the synthesis cards: general description of every single front, architectonicdecorative cards, typological individuations, survey and analysis of building stratification. During the research project the author took into consideration the next principal phases for the complete waterfront study: Inspection of the site - Taking note and examining the object of study - Checking the accuracy of the previous and old survey records - Photographic recognition from panoramic to detail
Historical Analysis - Historical research and inquiry about typological urban building evolution - Cadastral and Archive research - Bibliographic research - Study of architectonic and town-planning evolution site - Planimetric individuation of plots through spaces and types with the passing of the centuries Survey - Geometric survey with direct method - Architectonic and metric survey for the fronts’ details - Indirect survey using total station Nikon DTM 200 Facade historical stratifications - Studies upon the front materials characterization - Individuations and analysis of the wall historical stratifications Survey Drawings - Planimetric individuation of the water-front buildings in the urban context - scale 1:200 - The 31 studied buildings - scale 1:100 and 1:50 - Wall textures details - scale 1:20 - Plastic and painted facade’s decorations scale 1:20 Cards - General description (data found at the Superintendence of Architectonic and Environmental Liguria Goods, Historical Archive of Genoa, bibliography) - Architectonic-decorative description (front analysis: elevation fascias, individuation
of decorative, plastic and painted particulars) - Typological description (types connected to the historical matrix) - USM survey and analysis of the wall historical stratifications (critical interpretation of the Harris Matrix) For every front of Ripa Maris, the study compared all the literary sources, facts and known events, photographic documentation and anterior studies (ancient and original drawings of the buildings, old maps of the city of Genoa, historical views and contracts about plan modifications). The research also put in evidence the very important theme: colour-architecture. Genoa is not only historically the city of Painted Fronts, and for this reason famous among the many other “painted” cities in Italy and in Europe, but Genoa also rises occasions to debate about the "theme-problem", to compare right methodological approaches and new techniques for restoration. This debate concerns not only the architectonic scale of single buildings (the theme of the
“Painted Fronts” International Congress in Genoa, 1982) but also the environmental urban scale: streets, squares and every urban route. Thus, all the historical or non-historical components which influence the material aspect and therefore the historical, social, morphological and stylistic values must be considered. Conservation recognizes the importance of this contextual aspect as a whole, taking in consideration and associating all the factors required by the complexity of a historical building. The Colour is a fundamental aspect because it is always a characteristic element of a place and consequently, it is a cultural element, both as applied colour and as used material. The waterfront of Genoa is characterized by a continue colonnade, being planned as a service infrastructure and not just as a passageway. In fact, in 1133 and 1143 "Consules de Communi" decided (due to the rules for regularizing the arcade’s forms and materials) to lean the arcade against the walls of the buildings, with the intent of boosting houses’ widening by taxes exemption for new buildings and raisings.
SURVEY AND DRAWING FOR CONSERVATION
Historical mentions The new colonnade was built with 4,5 meters high stone columns with cross vaults and a vault or plan roof. In fact, due to the law approved by the consuls concerning the houses’ widening the total width of the arcade passage was then comprehended between the arcs and the houses (actual Via Sottoripa). During the XIIIth century a new service element the aqueduct - was leaned against the walls of the houses of Sottoripa; in this way it became possible to build new mezzanines at the height of the aqueduct’s pipes. The individuation of a consistent number of the existent building characteristics of the different historical phases permitted to reconstruct the progressive buildings transformation process. The most significant elements of Ripa Maris buildings are: building type, distributive and functional characteristics, linguistic and stylistic elements, technological and technical-structural components to testify the many processes which characterize this unitary architectonical "organism" (urban archaeological site). As far as the constructive and material elements are concerned, Ripa still presents medieval components: the ponderous Romanesque buildings became lighter in the XIIIth and XIVth centuries, using stone, marble and bricks with new doors and windows openings, whose traces are still visible on the walls.
Image 4. View of the first part of waterfront - the evident ideal cut of elevated railway.
Image 5. Giolfi, L. Giuidotti, view of Ripa Maris buildings with Ponte Reale, Spinola e Calvi leaned to the sea-walls (1796).
Image 3. Drawing restitution of survey from front n.1 to n. 27; original drawing scale 1:50.
Image 6. Upper left: Medieval tissue cut. Upper right: Marble Terrace Plan. Down: Plan of first and second stretch of Carlo Alberto street.
In the case of the waterfront buildings, which are the result of elementary cells aggregation, the unifying horizontal direction plays an important role both in the elevation alignment and in the structural elements of the complex image configuration of the colonnade with unified and raised houses. A further transformation phase took place during the XVIIth century, with the construction of the sea-wall (image 5). In 1836, in front of Ripa Maris a new road was constructed - Via Carlo Alberto – which was considered a very important commercial street. In fact to construct this road great cuts of the medieval urban tissue had to be made (image 6). The street goes from San Tomaso Door (Porta dei Vacca) to the actual Raibetta Square, cutting most of the medieval houses of the Waterfront first stretch, from Porta dei Vacca to via Ponte Calvi (lots in succession from n.1-8). On this occasion the arcades were covered by new palaces and part of Via Turati arcs disappeared under the new buildings. In fact, because of the new Raibetta Square opening in 1861, great buildings with portico have been
erected. The central part, between Via al Ponte Calvi and De Marini square, remains the only part with original portico. The arcades from Via al Ponte Calvi to Vico Giannini were restored in 1893 and in 1898 as well as the part between Vico Giannini e Vico Morchi in 1893 and 1903. The restoration plan included the demolition of the parts that covered the medieval portico, through the recomposition of the internal and external fronts. Archive research has brought to light the original plan-drawings for the painted facades of the buildings between Vico Giannini and Vico Morchi. Unfortunately, these painted decorations completely disappeared, but the historical photos (from Historic Archive of Genoa) put into evidence the beautiful, precious facade decorations (images 7, 8). The typological description is aimed to put in evidence the principal matrix courses and the urban context through a synoptic table about building types of Ripa Maris. Some fronts (n. 12, 13, 16, 17, 23, and 25 to 27) are very interesting to study, the walls stratification research being based upon the
Image 7. Historical photo, fronts n. 14-15.
Image 8. Plan drawings of painted facades between Vico Giannini and Vico Morchi, Historic Archive of Genoa, scale 1:100.
SURVEY AND DRAWING FOR CONSERVATION
critical interpretation and application of the “Harris Matrix” connected to the date scheme about direct, absolute direct, absolute and relative indirect dating. The unification of all the found elements and their interpretation as stratified components help to recover information on the architecture history and on the cultural development of the environment. The Matrix card permits to memorize all the observed data and further, the technological aspect permits to gather information on the relationship between superficies, forms and decorative elements. As Mariette De Vos noted1, "the correct exam of materials, techniques and findings used for decorative facing, their geographic diffusion and also the precise diachronic, quantitative and qualitative estimation are necessary to reconstruction..."
In the case of Ripa, principally there are Basis Types which are the matrix of the typological development of the building: one-family building cell with one (A1) or two arcs (A2) at the ground-floor, where the access is made from the portico or sometimes from the lateral front (variante d’angolo – corner variant), and two or three original floors on the foundation level, with reduced height from high to low and width of the front between four and six metres. Generally, the principal front has a central window, but if the stairs allow, a new slimmer window can be added (basis type A1). For the basis type A2, two windows are placed in axis with the arches of the foundation. The base is in promontory stone and the elevation part is made in brick load-bearing wall. The union of many basis types gives origin to remelting (transformation of basis types into multifamiliar-multiple buildings).
1 Mariette De Vos, "La scheda di unità stratigrafica di
rivestimento (pavimenti e decorazioni)", in Storia dalla terra. Manuale di scavo archeologico, A. Carandini, Einaudi, Torino, 1991.
Image 9. Synoptic table of Ripa Maris Building Types: A1 Basis type (tipo-base) and Angle Variant of A1. A2 Basis type (tipo-base), Variant and Corner Variant of A2: Remeltings, remelting variants, multiple remelting.
Image 10. Fronts n. 25-26: Actual plan (left) and hypothetical medieval reconstruction (right)
The economic growth of Genoa during the XVth century induced a great level of urbanization near the port, the multiple remelting being the most frequent case of typological transformation of the medieval buildings of Ripa Maris (Figures 9, 10). During the centuries, different town-plans and buildings restorations involving the waterfront have brought the author to individuate five principal lots. These lots differ one from the other because of their many peculiar typological and stylistic characteristics. The study put in evidence the principal phases of transformation of the single parts: the XIIIth and XIVth centuries constructive phase, the floors replacement, the walling up of the arches and the opening of the XVIth and XVIIth centuries rectangular windows, the remeltings and raisings from the XIXth century and the restoration plan of the XXth century that brought to light the medieval pre-existences.
Waterfront’s sections The first section of the waterfront, from Porta dei Vacca to Vico del Serriglio, (fronts n. 1 to 8) is completely modified because of the construction of the new road Via Carlo Alberto; the arcade was absorbed into the new foundation of the new palaces, but the covered arcades “Dark Ripa” remained unaltered in matter and form. The second lot, from Ponte Calvi to Vico Morchi (fronts n. 9 to 17), is particularly interesting because of the façade continuity. Here, 17 basis types have been fused into the continue portico, presenting evident traces of the first constructive phase: the first and second floors have stone and brick walls and stone with white marble arches (images 14-19). The buildings that occupied the actual lot n. 18 were destroyed by the bombs of the Second World War and so the original buildings were substituted by modern buildings (images 20-22).
Images 11-13. Survey updating of fronts n.1 to 8 (upper left), Porta dei Vacca (upper right) and drawing restitution of survey original scale 1:50 Fronts n. 1 to 8 (lower).
SURVEY AND DRAWING FOR CONSERVATION
Images 14-19. Survey update of fronts n. 9 to 17 (upper left), photographic images of wall facing stratifications of front n.13 (upper right) and drawing restitution of survey, original scale 1:50, fronts n. 9 to 17 (lower).
Images 20, 21. Fronts 18-19 destroyed from the bombs of the Second World War.
Image 22. The new buildings.
The third portion, from Vico del Serriglio to Via al Ponte Reale (fronts n. 19 to 22), is characterized by facades that do not have a stylistic unity. In fact, the development traces of remeltings, raisings and unification of different types must be considered. Here the portico is partially covered by the aqueduct (images 23-25).
Image 23. Drawing restitution of survey, original scale 1:50, fronts n. 19 to 22.
Image 24. Updating survey of fronts n.19 to 22.
Image 25. West view of the fronts n. 20-21-22-23 with the original part of aqueduct.
Images 26, 27. Fronts n. 23-25-26-27: Matrix of Harris and dating of the wall stratification.
The arcades of the fronts n. 23 to 27 have maintained the original medieval peculiarities: the promontory-stone pillars of the base part, the traces of acute arches and the facing from the constructive phase of XIIIth and XIVth century.
The fronts n. 23 (Cattaneo Adorno Palace), n. 25 and n. 26 are very interesting as far as wall stratification analysis is concerned: the walls present different plaster treatments and stratifications, making possible to read the construce_conser vation
SURVEY AND DRAWING FOR CONSERVATION
tive phases connected to the different wall stratification units. Finally, the last fronts (Via Turati) were erected over the medieval traces. There are 4 great neorenaissance style buildings, with basis part with rusticated and round arches built in 1866.
Image 28. Front n. 23
Images 29 - 31. Updating survey of fronts n. 28 to 31 (upper left), aerial photography of the Via Turati buildings (upper right) and drawing restitution of survey original scale 1:50 (lower).
Colour and Project for the Waterfront of Genoa
Fronts 1, 2, 3. Porta dei Vacca Front n. 3
Colour study of the facades of Ripa Maris: fronts n. 1, 2 and 3. Front 4. Front 8.
Colour study of the fronts n. 4, 5/6, 7 and 8.
Fronts n. 9, 10 and 11.
Fronts 9, 10 an Fronts 12, 13.
Fronts 5, 6.
Fronts 16, 17.
Fronts 20, 21, 22.
SURVEY AND DRAWING FOR CONSERVATION
Colour study of the fronts n. 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17.
Colour study of the fronts n. 19, 20, 21 and 22.
Via Pia in Savona Via Pia in Savona constitutes an interesting case from several reasons. First of all, it constitutes a challenge in regard to the methodological application for the conservation of the historical building facades, especially of the coloured and painted facades, a typical phenomenon of Liguria. On the other hand, this historical city episode is particularly interesting for the complexity, richness and stratification of its valuable architectonic elements. Contrary to the cases of coastal historical centers with painted facades, where the architectonic elements are all uniform, here a totally new fact can be observed: an historical road axis of medieval origins, with a series of evolution building examples, that report to the various ages, documenting the transformations of the original medieval matrix with many different elements of great interest. The facades are also various in external finishes, so that the continuous street wings of Pia road constitute a sole testimony palimpsest of buildings history and of Savona’s historical centre culture. Here, typical characteristics are in perfect correspondence with those of the Genovese historical centre and those of Liguria culture. On Pia road, in the sequence of the compact buildings with crowd typology, there are still many medieval building examples, with the single units testified by the brick arches of the
windows and marked by the medieval hanging arches of separation between the ground floor and the first floor. Moreover, some of the most interesting examples of successive transformation in the houses’ medieval arcades are still conserved, due to the commercial specialization of 1200.
Figure 30. Via Pia n.14 - Graffiti decoration facade.
Figures 31, 32. Photo during survey phase (left) and straightened photo and screening of contrast (right).
The Renaissance fronts are characterized by the painted facade, deduced from the contemporary Genoa models. Some examples are particularly significant: the palace of the Rovere-Cassinis (n. 5), the Sormano Palace (n. 1) and the most recent but very precious graffito example from the beginning of the twentieth century. The "requalification" of the fronts of Pia road contains a more ambitious restoration plan of a city-environmental image, based upon an extended knowledge concerning the facades with decorations, the materials and colours, the state of conservation and the types of degradation. It is planned to valorize and conserve the building culture, which represents in this case a stratified and rich example of a strong and evocative medieval matrix.
Figure 33. Restoration of the facades of Via Pia in Savona, survey and graphic restitution. Intervention phases: -Photographic recognition from panoramic to detail; -Direct and indirect survey; -Drawing restitution; -Colour survey (direct); -Fronts analysis, cards: general description, architectonic - decorative - historical description; -Specifications for restoration.
Figures 34, 35, 36 and 37. Pia Street, n. 14, Savona – Digital photos of painted decoration and straightened photos and screening of contrast.
SURVEY AND DRAWING FOR CONSERVATION
UNIVERSITY OF GENOA – FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE, Department of Science for Architecture (D.S.A.) contact: email@example.com
Giulia Pellegri graduated at the Faculty of Architecture of the athenaeum in Genoa in 1994 and since then she is collaborating with the course of Survey of Architecture at the Department of Science for Architecture (D.S.A.) of the Faculty of Architecture in Genoa. In 1999 she presented her PhD thesis in Research in Survey and Drawing Representation of the Architecture and Environment. Since 2001 she teaches courses in the areas of measurement and architectonic survey at the Faculty of Architecture. She also teaches several other seminars at the Faculty of Engineering in Genoa since 2003, focused on computerized methodologies in survey, photographic straightening and chromatic elaborations, among others. She develops her research at the Department of Construction, Urban Planning and Engineering Materials (DEUIM) of the Faculty of Engineering in Genoa through research conferment in 2003-04 and 2004-05 and at the Department D.S.A. of the Faculty of Architecture in Genoa through research conferment in 2005-06. She also cosupervised several degree thesis at the Faculty of Architecture in 2006/2007.
e_conser vation 83
heritage in danger
EMERGENCY AND PREVENTIVE CONSERVATION
of Abandoned Churches in Transylvania
by PÉTER PÁL and LÓRÁND KISS
The reformed church of Nima before conservation.
ABANDONED CHURCHES IN TRANSYLVANIA
The present paper is a contribute to the conservation works performed on medieval churches and abandoned or ruined buildings on the periphery of ethnic communities, in the light of preservation of their artistic components (mural paintings, woodcarvings, wooden furniture, etc.) The emergency conservation interventions were made by Imago Picta SRL, a conservation enterprise that deals with the preservation and safeguarding of endangered monuments, research and mural paintings conservation. Since 2004, the enterprise is focused mainly on the conservation of church monuments in Transylvania. Even if our basic activities are focused on mural paintings, we consider important to outline the geographical, social and historical background of the phenomenon. Geographical and historical background All the examined churches are geographically located in specific regions: the Hungarian communities, especially those of the Calvinist Reformed religion, are displayed in Southern Transylvania, in Alba and Hunedoara counties, and those in northern Transylvania are located along the Somes river, in Cluj and Bistrita river. The reason for the desolation of these churches could be due to the fact that along the course of those rivers, the population often had to suffer the consequence of raids more than in hidden territories of mountains or basins. Another group of churches is that of the Saxon Evangelical churches. The departure of
The reformed church of Nima with a protector rooftop.
The church of Chimindia during our intervention.
these communities started during the communist period and ended after the revolution, due to their massive exodus. These churches are located mostly in the south of Transylvania, in Sibiu, in Brasov County and near the Tarnava river. Another smaller group can be found in the north of Bistrita area.
PÉTER PÁL and LÓRÁND KISS
Our activity started with the research and the emergency conservation of some of those churches. We quickly realized that we are facing not just a few particular cases, but a symptom affecting larger areas. This kind of actions require directives for a concept to organize our work. We acted voluntarily or partially supported by civil organizations. This activity was meant to compensate the lack of governmental support in such areas. Even though there were endeavors, until the present time no real help came from the state. As a first step of our long term project we worked on the research of a few endangered churches. This way we could estimate the size and location of certain values and to evaluate the priorities of the interventions. The first priority was, no doubt, the case of buildings left uncovered, but bearing important works of art, such as valuable wall paintings. In many cases the mural painting itself was the factor that mobilized parts of civil society, such as foundations, and made possible the minimal preservation for the building, like in the case of building a roof for the church of Chimindia. As far as conservation is concerned, the churches with formerly uncovered mural painting took advantage. In most cases, the amount of interventions did not exceed the preventive conservation of the monuments.
The initial state of conservation, details from the church of Ormani.
86 e_conser vation
ABANDONED CHURCHES IN TRANSYLVANIA
Detail from Nima Church under conservation. The advanced biologic attack on the surface of the painting can be noticed.
Our leading principle was the preservation in the light of today's conservation concepts. A complex conservation and restoration took place only in a few cases. In our vision, the research and preventive conservation of these monuments should be followed by the creation of a documentary database distributed to specialists, as well as to the owners of the monuments. Even though we are struggling to preserve and stop the deterioration of these murals, there are several problems exceeding our professional and financial possibilities. Such problems include the monitoring of the monument, its maintenance in time and its promotion in the local and European art history, tourism, etc.
Church of Nima, detail of mural painting under conservation.
PÉTER PÁL and LÓRÁND KISS
The murals on the eastern and southern walls of the church of Nima during the intervention (up) and detail of mural painting (right).
Short study of a particular case The Reformed church of Nima – the conservation of its mural paintings The intervention in an emergency status took place as a request of The Reformed Church of Transylvania in November 2006. All started previously in the year 2003 with a stratigraphic research of the church walls. That time the building was a ruin with the roof destroyed and huge vegetation growing inside. The paintings were discovered in 1970. Today one can see the fragments of a 14th15th century painted layer in the a fresco technique, depicting a gallery of apostles
ABANDONED CHURCHES IN TRANSYLVANIA
on the three sides of the choir. On the south wing of the exterior walls, a solar disc is visible with roman digits, and over it an inscription with capital characters:
A.D.:163.. DIE.. MAY GEORGIUS ENYEDI RECTOR SCHOLAE NEMAINAE
The conservation On the surface of the walls there are several fissures. These, and the falling stones from the superior parts of the wall, deteriorated persistently the layer of mortars.
The mortar became friable and pulverous being exposed to extreme weather conditions. Biological attack is also present, with a large surface covered by mould and fungi, affecting the surface, especially the color layer. The methodology was as follow: - The transitory fixation of the dislocated fragments of the mortar. Materials used: Japanese paper and CMC (carboxy methyl cellulose sodium salt); - Clearing the surface from additional mortars, some of them mixed with cement, and fixing the edges of the original layer. Materials used: lime-based mortar proportion 1/3 (washed sand with medium granulation);
Details from the southern wall of the altar in the church of Nima.
PÉTER PÁL and LÓRÁND KISS
Details from the mural painting of Ormani after the conservation intervention. The still wet fillings of the lacunas can be seen.
- Injecting the mortar with Primal solution in the areas endangered by fall off; - Padding the different size holes and cracks with an apposite material as color and structure. Materials used: lime-based mortar proportion 1/3 (washed sand with different granulation according to the size of the holes); - Cleaning the surface of the painting from lime and impurities; - Disinfecting the surface by spreading Sintosept QR 15 solution. Afterwards the surface was treated with alcoholized water; - Impregnation of friable mortar with a silicate based solution. This solution was applied on the whole surface of the existing original because of its continuous exposure to altering weather conditions. Materials used: Estel 100 (non-hydrophobic).
After our intervention, a protecting roof was built over the altar with the hope that in 2008 a final rooftop will be executed. The intervention performed is assuring for now only the preventive conservation of these mural paintings. Our future aim is, besides to sensitize the public to such cases, to attract and involve state institutions for financial and professional support. This way, a larger strategy could be developed at a regional level, for the safeguarding of a segment of art especially endangered that belongs to the European heritage.
ABANDONED CHURCHES IN TRANSYLVANIA
Two layers from different time periods on the southern wall of the church in Chimindia.
contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pál Péter (b. 1961, Tîrgu Mures) is a conservator and member of S.C. Imago Picta SRL, a conservation enterprise that deals with the safeguarding of endangered monuments, research and conservation of mural paintings, since 2004. He previously worked for several conservation enterprises such as S.C. C.R. and S.C. Ars Antiqua S.R.L, on the conservation of the church-monuments from Daia and Chilieni in Covasna. Currently he is also an assistant at the Human Sciences Faculty of the Sapientia University in Cluj, teaching "Image Interpretative Methods and Techniques". He graduated in Monumental Art and Conservation from N. Grigorescu Art Institute in Bucharest. He has received several awards and grants, from the The Union of Romanian Plastic Artists and from Kemeny Zsigmond Cultural Institute, for a postgraduate course in conservation at the Direction of Historic Monuments in Budapest, Hungary.
contact: email@example.com Kiss Lóránd (b. 1973, Tîrgu Mures), conservator, is working for S.C. Imago Picta S.R.L. since 2004. He is also a professor at the Arts School from Tîrgu Mures. He graduated from the Arts School in 1991 and followed education at the Ion Andreescu Academy of Visual Arts from Cluj, Romania, obtaining his degree in Graphic Arts in 1996. He also he attended a course in conservation from the Direction of Historic Monuments in Budapest, Hungary, granted by the Kemeny Zsigmond Cultural Institute. He worked in on-site conservation projects within S.C. Ars Antiqua S.R.L. between 1999-2004. At the moment his activity at Imago Picta is focused on emergency interventions and preservation of abandoned monuments from Transylvania.
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