Art of the Conservator

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The restoration of Leonardo da Vinci's famous cartoon The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and St. John the Baptist, vandalized by a shotgun blast, and the cleaning of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel frescoes have recently focused attention on the painstaking process of conserving works of art. The "detective" work, scientific research, and technical experimentation involved in conservation sometimes yield surprising results: a different composition may be discovered underneath the visible surface of a painting, or ...
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1560982292 Brand NEW Book ~ Light shelf-wear ~ all books carefully examined & well packaged

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Overview

The restoration of Leonardo da Vinci's famous cartoon The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and St. John the Baptist, vandalized by a shotgun blast, and the cleaning of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel frescoes have recently focused attention on the painstaking process of conserving works of art. The "detective" work, scientific research, and technical experimentation involved in conservation sometimes yield surprising results: a different composition may be discovered underneath the visible surface of a painting, or the reconstruction of fragments of a helmet or pot may force scholars to revise their ideas about how objects were made in antiquity. Conservators can also provide valuable information about an object's history, about past restoration techniques, and about faking. In this book, experts directly involved in the conservation of eleven important works of art made of different materials--including metals, wood, glass, ceramics, and textiles--describe the often nerveracking problems they faced, and the methods they used to overcome them. The introduction outlines the development of modern conservation techniques and current research, discussing as well changing attitudes to conservation and restoration and the ethical questions involved.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
For as long as artworks have been created, humans and nature have seemingly conspired to destroy them. Because of age or abuse, all art objects eventually need to be reparied, restored, or conserved. These three techniques may seem confusingly similar to lay readers, but they differ greatly in purpose and method. In his introduction, Oddy clarifies these terms and describes various methods of repair, restoration, and conservation, explaining the rationale behind them. He also discusses such common causes of damage as pests, atmospheric conditions, and vandalism and the treatment needed to remedy the damage. Subsequent chapters by British and Italian conservators give the case histories of various objects--vases, statues, frescoes, an iron helmet, silver bowls, a drawing on paper, a painting, and a tapestry--with photographs and diagrams documenting each stage in their conservation. Recommended for specialized libraries in the arts and museum studies, as well as public libraries.-- Margarete Gross, Chicago P.L.
Booknews
Experts directly involved in the conservation of 11 important works of art made of different materials--including metals, wood, glass, ceramics, and textiles--describe the problems they faced and the methods they used to overcome them. The introduction outlines the development of modern conservation techniques and current research, as well as discussing changing attitudes to conservation and restoration and the ethical questions involved. With 113 b&w and 58 color illustrations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Donna Seaman
This well-illustrated volume surveys the skills, techniques, and ethics of modern museum conservation from the perspectives and experience of a dozen experts in the field. Andrew Oddy of the British Museum introduces the book with a history of conservation and the establishment of today's professional and scientific approach. Various causes of deterioration and damage are described, including pollution and vandalism, while the tremendous delicacy, accuracy, and patience of conservators are vividly conveyed. Succeeding chapters follow the progress of specific restoration projects, each involving different materials, methods, and circumstances as well as unexpected discoveries about the object's history and creation. The repair of a shotgun blast to Leonardo da Vinci's cartoon for "The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and St. John the Baptist" required microscopic study of fibers and particles, while the Portland Vase, a rare example of Roman cameo glass that had been shattered and glued back together at least twice, had to be completely broken down and reassembled. Conservators detail the cleaning and restoration of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel frescoes, a statue of the Bodhisattva Guanyin, a seventeenth-century portrait by Robert Peake the Elder, a medieval tapestry, and the 1,400-year-old Anglo-Saxon Sutton Hoo helmet.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560982296
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/1992
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.19 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Table of Contents

The Contributors 6
Introduction 7
1 Leonardo da Vinci's Cartoon The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and St. John the Baptist 28
2 The Portland Vase 42
3 Henry Prince of Wales on Horseback by Robert Peake the Elder 59
4 The Sutton Hoo Helmet 73
5 Michelangelo's Frescoes in the Sistine Chapel 89
6 The Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius 108
7 The Piranesi Vase 122
8 The Hockwold Treasure 137
9 The 'Roman de la Rose' Tapestry 151
10 The Sophilos Vase 163
11 Statue of the Bodhisattva Guanyin 177
Index 190
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