Restorer: the essence of his work Part 1

In conjunction with the Center Grabar and Interregional scientific restoration management tell how there is a restoration and how to restore that seemingly cannot be recovered.

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Why you need a restoration

The main task of modern scientific restoration is to halt the destruction, study, and preserve the monument, to prolong his life and provide an opportunity for further research, art criticism, and history. These principles were laid in the nineteenth century when the idea of the necessity of preserving and studying the ancient times. The beginning of this process can be considered the act of the sculptor Canova, who refused to fill in the lost fragments of the Parthenon sculptures.

The former first part of archaeology, restoration gradually became a separate industry. In the nineteenth century, a clear division between the restoration, renovations, repair and restoration was not. Now the renovations and repair of unacceptable work with the sites, although commercial restoration often uses these methods to improve the view of the monument before reselling or exhibiting in a private collection. The difference between restoration and recovery is well illustrated by the temple of Christ the Savior, blown up although the temple was restored by the current forms, in fact, it is built anew.

Why the restorer almost like the doctor

Restores the doctors. They also wear white coats and use medical instruments — scalpels, syringes, compresses, cotton swabs. And the main principle is the same: do no harm. The monument is a fragile organism with centuries-old historical accretions, so before to intervene in its structure, it is necessary to determine the necessity of such interference. First, you need to make the correct diagnosis, i.e. to understand the causes of the destruction. It is, therefore, important to conduct a survey and make “history” — to describe the current state of the monument, laboratory, and archival research. The results of studies performed kind of the doctors and restoration Council, which is attended by historians, art historians, Museum curators and restorers of different profiles. Only when the program of works approved by Council can begin the restoration.

More accurately determine the condition of the monument allows physicochemical studies. The radiograph shows the internal structure of the work, voids, cracks, staples; shooting in ultraviolet rays needed for the assessment of surface — visible record, tinting, lacquers; shooting in the infrared allows us to see the different layers of the painting and the preparatory drawing.

Why should the restorer’s diary

In the cycle of restoration works several steps: first is cleaning, opening and strengthening, and then with the help of retouching and restoration of lost work result in the exhibition. Throughout the cycle, restorer writes a diary, in which then make the passport works, or report. In General, various documentation is an integral part of the restoration, because the restorer is not a free artist and researcher.

Scientific restoration sees in the monument is not only a work of art but a historical document. Therefore, even if the original layer is revealed completely without saving any of the later records, it is important to record all stages of existence of the monument. This is done through description, photographs and diagrams cartograms.

If you see the icon or picture of small squares, different in texture and color from the original painting, don’t think the restorers have neglected to clear the piece: this is a control plot or the so-called control print. It left a thin strip of each layer layer to keep the evidence of different stages of existence of the work. Sometimes after work and remove friendlies — they can just take a picture.

How to uncover the “author”

In the author’s monument to allocate layer — conservators call it “author” — and all subsequent layers (renovations, entry, dirty). The frescoes appears the soot from the candles, efflorescence; the icons will darken the varnish on the paintings of Polish; recovered from burial archaeological textiles and is covered with earth; the painting is affected by the fungus. But it is not only in the surface contamination. Simultaneously with the appearance of iconography originated the practice of painting renovations. To update the icon, as if it wrote again on the ancient layer, sometimes observing the iconography (i.e. keeping the composition and attributes of the characters), but changing the style in accordance with fashion or beliefs about ancient times. Often on top of the old image and completely re-wrote another Saint or another story — this practice was quite normal and was seen as an upgrade of the Shrine. In addition, the restorations often the materials that were harming the monument: one hundred years ago, a monumental painting could cover with wax as a protective layer, not knowing that the wax creates conditions for the moisture delay. One of the main objectives of the restorer is to reveal the original painting, that is, to remove the later layers.

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What to delete and what not

Removed traces of domestic chunxi and writing, but saved the brass staples as an example of historical restoration.

But a late entry represents a historical value. To remove it or not depends on the degree of preservation of the aesthetic qualities of the “author” and later records. Ideally, it is better to save all the layers that are not always possible. However, sometimes painting can be stratified and moved to a new Foundation. In the Church of the Saviour Euphrosyne monastery almost completely preserved painting of the XII century was covered with several layers, including an oil painting of the XIX century. But these records lucky: the restorers were able to remove them, bringing the whole composition an area of a few square meters on a new basis. In the temple now you can see the ancient frescoes, and Museum — paintings of the XIX century, taken from the walls.

The basis of the mold and the embroidery is transformed into a bundle of threads. If you save all the seams and connections on the remaining stitches from the crease to restore order embroidery.

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