Paintings

This Section deals with the conservation of polychrome artefacts painted on different types of supports, including stone, wood, canvas and copper plates.

Most of the conservation work on moveable artefacts, thus excluding mural paintings, is carried out inside the main studio. A separate dark room is utilised for investigations under ultraviolet light. Currently, the conservation of wooden artefacts such as items of furniture and picture frames is also being carried out within this Section. Conservation projects on mural paintings on site are also often undertaken by this Section.

Work here includes the investigation of the artefacts, manufacturing techniques, their historical context, the state of conservation (including past restoration interventions) and preventive conservation issues. Treatments include: consolidation of the support and the pictorial layers, relining of canvas paintings, removal of aged varnish layers, discoloured retouching and overpainting and the reintegration of missing areas. All of these treatments are carried out according to modern conservation ethics.

All of the above is carried out as a multidisciplinary approach, which includes investigations under Ultraviolet light (UV), Infrared reflectography (IR), X-Ray radiography, as well as the microscopic analysis of wood. The involvement of the other Sections such as the Diagnostic Science Laboratories, the Documentation Section, the Preventive Conservation Section and the other conservation studios, namely those of Books & Paper, Textiles and Objects, is often required. The studio is equipped with various instruments and apparata that facilitate documentation and interventions, including a low-pressure suction table and binocular light microscopes. Since chemical solvents are used in the studio, fume extractors and cupboards are available for health and safety reasons.

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