Restoring a Masterwork I: Castiglione's Immaculate Conception with Saints Francis of Assisi and Anthony of Padua - Fall 1999
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Daily Log

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October 1, 1999

Re-Attaching the Stretcher

The lined painting is re-attached to the wooden stretcher. Proper tension is placed on the canvas to prevent sagging or bulges.

October 2, 1999

The conservators remove the facing tissue from the paint layer. This work is done in the conservation lab where there is adequate ventilation. This is necessary when working with the solvents that are required to remove the tissue.

October 5, 1999

Inpainting Begins

The application of the varnish layer is completed. The conservators have worked long and hard over the weekend to complete this process and ensure that the painting is ready to go back into the exhibition gallery.

The painting is returned to the gallery where the work of inpainting begins.

Julia and Michael Marquis visit Joan and their father in the conservation exhibition for an up close look at the restoration.

October 6, 1999

Inpainting continues. Losses in the paint layer are filled and textured to match the surrounding original paint layers.

Losses are inpainted using a stable, non-yellowing, non-discoloring synthetic medium.

The salmon colored areas in the image are areas of loss that will be inpainted by the conservators.

October 8, 1999

Creating an Aesthetic Experience

The conservators continue the process of inpainting. They apply color to areas of loss to create a faux finish that fools the eye and integrates the damaged areas into the overall design. This way, when you look at the painting, what you have is the aesthetic pleasure of seeing the design as a whole without your eyes being drawn to areas of loss or damage.

Inpainting requires staying within the confines of the actual loss. It is inappropriate to paint over or cover any of the original painting.

The materials used in inpainting are a synthetic resin mixed with dry pigments. The reason these are used is that they can be easily distinguished from the original materials that the artist used. They are also easily removed without damage to the original paint layer.

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