Conservation - Restauration
A monastic workshop dedicated to pictorial heritage :
_Oil on canvas,
_Oil on wood,
_Other materials: copper, alabaster etc…
Our workshop combines :
* technical skill
"Restoration must aim to re-establish the potential unity of the work of art, as long as this is possible without producing an artistic or historical forgery and without erasing any trace of the passage of time left on the work of art"
(Cesare Brandi, Theory of Restoration, 1963)
Our approach is underpinned by three principles :
* traceability of restoration, re-establishing a coherent appreciation of the work and allowing the restored areas to be discerned on close inspection
* stability of materials used, taking into account where the work is kept
*reversibility of materials used so no long term risk for the original paintwork
Every intervention begins with a thorough examination, often requiring a range of skills in order to create a complete photographic dossier of the work from its analysis :
* under direct lighting
* under raking light
* with UV fluorescence
* under infra-red light
These different methods enable us to determine :
* the extent of previous restoration work (repaired tears and holes, retouches, use of anomalous materials etc.)
* the nature and extent of damage and its cause
* the approximate date of the work based on its: frame, canvas, ground layer (primer), paint film and cracking
* the identity of the artist (discovery of initials or signature), or of the school or workshop
* the nature of the materials employed (analysis of varnish(es), glues and binding agents through stratigraphic studies of pigments and paint layers)
This technical dossier tells us the extent of conservation work to be carried out …
* conservation basically involves halting the degradation of a painting by treating it so that its lifespan is extended for future generations. With preventive conservation, owners are advised concerning where the work will hang and how to ensure its conservation.
* de-restoration is often necessary, when possible, when inappropriate interventions have already taken place, so as to restore its original integrity: the undoing of unjustified recanvassing, removal of Venice lead mastic sealant on the back of the canvas etc. In some cases, de-restoration is not carried out where the interventions are integral to the history of the work.
* Restoration is never a neutral action, there are always subjective choices to make in the overall goal of recreating the potential unity and context of the work, within its inherent history. Restoration techniques vary depending on the home of the work. To name a few: the consolidation and treatment of an original frame or stretcher (or treatment and consolidation for a panel), fabric reconstruction for tears, holes and faults, and in the event of general degradation of the canvas, re-lining or recanvassing, fixing the paint layers when there is severe flaking. Cleaning can be done mechanically or chemically; it involves removing dirt, layers of varnish and overpainting or any other substance, the reconstruction of scrubbed areas with primer, then blending in scrubbed areas with paint, and finally re-varnishing.
Issue of a quotation in duplicate and a formal receipt of acceptance for the work
2, rue saint jacques
76490 ST WANDRILLE-RANCON
Tel : 02 35 95 98 47
Fax : 02 35 56 63 41