Workshop, Oct 3rd–7th, 2016, Croatian Conservation Institute, Dubrovnik Department for Conservation
Croatian Conservation Institute organized in Dubrovnik an internal five-day workshop on the process of retouching in the conservation of easel paintings and polychrome wooden sculptures, led by renowned Italian restorer Stefano Scarpelli. The retouch, reconstruction and reintegration of the painted layer is the most important procedure in the final phase of conservation of painted artworks, used to recreate missing parts of the painted layer and thus reinterpret the original painted form. The workshop was co-financed by the Batahovina Trust.
The primary aim of the workshop was to present the decision making process when choosing methods and materials for retouching. The theoretical lectures examined when it is possible and justifiable to intervene, depending on the various degrees of damage, knowledge of the original painted form and the future function of the artwork. The practical demonstrations showed how to work with materials that enable maximum duration and reversibility of the retouch.
With over 200 polychrome objects retouched each year, to reflect on the approach and choose the right methods, while maintaining a balance with sustainable conservation, is indeed an important segment of heritage protection and of the Croatian Conservation Institute’s overall activity.
Stefano Scarpelli is a renowned restorer who specializes in paintings on canvas and wooden support. A free-lance restorer, he is a regular collaborator of the Uffizi Gallery as well as lecturer at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure school in Florence. The quality of his work is attested by some masterpieces of world heritage that were entrusted to him for conservation – Giotto's Badia Polyptych, Caravaggio's Medusa and Masaccio's San Giovenale Triptych. He is a long-term collaborator of the Croatian Conservation Institute ever since the War of Independence, when he headed a group of international experts who assisted Croatian conservators in the rescue and protection of artworks from war-stricken areas. He also acted as counsellor on some of the most challenging conservation efforts on Renaissance paintings in Croatia, for which he was given the Vicko Andrić Award.
For the occasion, on October 7th Stefano Scarpelli and colleagues from the Institute gave public lectures at the Villa Kaboga.
- Stefano Scarpelli: [Retouch: different problems – different solutions]
- Slobodan Radić: [Conservation of large-format paintings (from the Strossmayer Gallery in Zagreb)]
- Jadranka Baković: [The retouch technique on a polyptych by Vittore Carpaccio: “St. Martin” from the Permanent Collection of Religious Art in Zadar]
- Mara Kolić Pustić: [“Behind the Scenes” – the collaboration of Stefano Scarpelli and the Dubrovnik Department the Conservation]