PROJECT DATE : 2013
Diocese of Parramatta
Paintings and Wooden Objects Conservation
Belonging to St Patrick's Cathedral Parramatta, this 14th – 15th century Bohemian painted wooden sculpture (from what is now the Czech Republic) is known as the Beautiful Madonna with Child.
Executed in the Gothic style, it was designed to be presented on a church altar or in an architectural niche. Originally the sculpture was fully painted using the polychrome technique, a style of painting using several different colours, which was often applied to ancient sculpture and architecture.
Over the years the sculpture had lost the vast majority of its paint layer and had been over-painted several times. Various wooden elements had also been altered or replaced.
- Consolidation of unstable paint
- Cleaning and removal of aged wax
- Removal of unstable additions applied to the sculpture during previous repairs
- Application of wax coating on wooden sections
- Infilling and inpainting of losses to the flesh areas of both the Madonna and Child.
- Inpainting was carried out using the tratteggio technique, where paint is applied in a succession of thin, vertical brush strokes using several similar colours to create a sense of transparency and vibrancy of tone. The aim is to ensure that inpainted areas are subtly reintegrated with the original paint work, whilst also recognisable as recent additions.
- Monitoring of environmental conditions in the area where the painting was displayed for 12 months following treatment.