Zagreb, October 2018
Text by: Jelena Duh, dr. sc. Krešimir Karlo
St. Brice in Kalnik is an exceptionally valuable ecclesiastical structure due to the preserved historical layers, the artistic scope of the partialy preserved wall paintings from the 14th century, and the rare example of a complete late medieval wall painting in the shrine. Ana Deanović discovered, restored, and evaluated the wall paintings in mid-20th century. The staff of the Croatian Conservation Institute continued her work in 2012 and started extensive archival, scientific, and conservation research. They confirmed the assumptions about the architectural genesis of the church from the 14th to the 20th century, and the original materials and techniques used in the earliest phases of the church. Along with the previously unknown earlier architectural elements, four new fragments of wall paintings belonging to the same series characterized by quality Italian Trecento were discovered.
Croatian Conservation Institute started conservation of the church in 2014. The work involved the removal of subsequently added layers of plaster and paint in the nave, conservation of the newly discovered fragments of wall paintings, desalination of the north wall of the nave and sanctuary, cleaning and consolidation of wall paintings, and application of the finishing plaster layer on the parts of the walls with paintings so they can be presented in a better way. The surface of the wall paintings in the shrine was cleaned and, if necessary, fixed, taking into account previous historical restorations. Only parts of the newly discovered construction elements were presented in situ.
With the completion of conservation in the Church of St. Brice in Kalnik, an exceptional and rare example of a preserved monument of medieval wall paintings in northwestern Croatia will be presented during the European Year of Cultural Heritage.
Presentation of the conservation and restoration of the wall paintings will be held on 2nd October 2018 at 11 o’clock at the Church of St. Brice in Kalnik.