by Chantal Stein
Reproduction by Chantal Stein
For a project in the course Technology and Structure of Works of Art, first-year conservation students made replicas of 15th century Italian panel paintings using traditional techniques and materials. This piece is a reproduction of a section from the Madonna and Child by the workshop of Sano di Pietro, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I chose this composition for its abstract qualities. The wood panel was sized with rabbit skin glue and prepared with gesso and bole for the application of water-gilding. For the painted passages, I used a mostly traditional pigment palette that included terra verde, yellow ocher, raw umber, bone black, sienna, titanium white, and (synthetic) ultramarine. Other techniques included mordant gilding and punchwork.
by Sarah Mastrangelo
Examening a dispersed pigment sample
Education is never at rest, even during those short summer months that seem to slip away faster than they arrive. Recently, the Conservation Center at the IFA welcomed two young and insatiably curious visitors who understand well that the summer is without a doubt the best time to explore and learn new things.
It all starts with a bit of curiosity. Anna, a rising second grader, has recently developed a keen interest in the fine arts. Her trips to art museums have yielded questions including: How do paintings last so long? Who takes care of them? Are they all original? Along with her younger cousin Elizabeth, Anna got a behind-the-scenes tour of what we conservators do, the tools we work with, and the precautions we take to ensure the safety of the art and ourselves.
by Sophie Scully
Left: Saint John the Baptist, follower of Pietro Lorenzetti, possibly Tegliacci, dated to before 1362, K1237, before treatment. Right: Saint John the Baptist, after treatment
Gold tooling held an esteemed position in Trecento art-making, arguably equal to that of painting itself. As Cennino Cennini comments before giving explicit directions: “This stamping which I am telling you about is one of our most delightful branches.” [i] After studying and restoring the panel of St John the Baptist, in the Kress Collection of the Austin Arts Center, Trinity College, I readily agree with Cennini’s sentiment.
By Sarah Mastrangelo and Hae Min Park
Panel painting after Carlo Crivelli’s Pieta, 1476, by Sarah Mastrangelo.
Technology & Structure is a required course for first-year students at the Conservation Center. The course is reputedly one of the “juiciest” classes students will take during their training, and has thus far not failed to deliver. In the Fall of 2014, our class learned how to make panel paintings using historical methods and tools. Alan Miller, Associate Conservator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, led us through the process. Following the recipes of Cennino Cennini, as described in his Il Libro dell’Arte, we set out to replicate details of early Italian masterpieces found in the collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
by Annika Finne
Figure 1: Sano di Pietro, Adoration of the Child. 1473. Egg tempera on panel with gilding. 20.5 x 15 inches (64.5 x 85.5 cm) Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Collection, Mead Art Museum, Amherst, MA.
Sano di Pietro’s Adoration of the Child is a painting with more gold on its surface than paint (Figure 1). Created in mid-to-late 15th century Siena, the work both expresses the particular love of Sienese patrons for gilding and demonstrates the particular talent of Sienese painters for manipulating gold into resplendent patterns. Continue reading