Modern Procedures Used in Cleaning Old, Illegibly and Blackened Icons

Open access

Abstract

In order to restore the original aesthetic aspect, to improve the state of the age patina and of the gold halo, similar processes are required. The cleaning process is one of the most important aspects for an artwork and is considering a series of deteriorations and degradations, like dirt deposits (clogged or unclogged) opalescent varnish, colors blackening, burns, blisters, gaps (missing ground, painting layer or varnish). This step in the restoration process includes physical and mechanical proceedings like dusting (with a vacuum), brushing (with a brush), scraping (with a scalpel), removal or polishing etc. The scalpel and the milling process are rough unconventional means that are used only in exceptional cases. The wet cleaning of dirt includes classic washing processes, with water or other complex systems of organic solvents (emollients, surface additives or surfactants, mixtures of solvents). Cleaning the clogged dirt deposits with unconventional methods can be done by means of electronic laser, ion and thermal exchange or ultrasounds. Laser cleaning is often used in removing unwanted dirt deposits from different layers of the art piece. A lot of attention goes towards the controlled elimination of the exterior protection layer (varnish), which can be photo- degraded and oxidized by atmospheric exposure. Visual analysis, with enlargers (OM, SEM, AFM etc.) combined with transmission or penetration techniques (radiography, endoscopy, X-ray diffraction etc.) provides information on the superficial structures of the art work. In order to determine the modifications of the desiccant oils, SEM was used to observed the changes in the morphology of the oil painting layers. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) can be used to detrmine detergent residues on the painting layer.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Brandi C. (1997) Teoria del restauro Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura (Einaudi T editor) Roma.

  • Calvo A. (2002) Conservación y restauración de pintura sobre lienzo Ed. del Barcelona Serbal.

  • Domingues J. Bonelli N. Giorgi R. Fratini E. Baglioni P. (2013) Innovative method for the cleaning of water-sensitive artifacts: Synthesis and application of highly retentive chemical hydrogels. Internat. Journal of Conservation Science 4 715-722.

  • Khandekar N. (2000) A survey on the conservation literature relating to the development of acqueous gel cleaning on painted and varnished surfaces Rev. Conserv. 1 10-20.

  • Mills J.S. White R. (1994) The Organic Chemistry of Museum Objects. Butterworth- Heinemann London.

  • Pouli P. Emmony D.C. (2000) The effect of Nd: YAG laser radiation on medieval pigments Journal of Cultural Heritage 1 S181-S188.

  • Pruteanu S. Sandu I. Vasilache V. Gherman L.G. Sandu I.C.A. Cristache R.A. (2013) Integrated Analytical Study for the Evaluation of Cleaning Effectiveness on Old Wood Romanian Icons PRO LIGNO 9 242-250.

  • Pruteanu S. Gherman L.G. Sandu I. Hayashi M. Cozma D.G. Vasilache V. Sandu I.C.A. (2013) Ecological Materials Used in Preservation and Restoration on New Wood PRO LIGNO 9 265-275.

  • Teixeira S.J.V. (2011) Hidrólise Enzimática das Proteínas da Dreche Master Thesis University in Porto Porto.

  • Sandu I.C.A. Luca C. Sandu I. (2000) Study on the compatibility between the old artistic techniques and the new materials and methods for the conservation - Restauration processes inventations. I. Theoretical aspects Revista de Chimie (Bucharest) 51 532-542.

  • Sandu I.C.A. Luca C. Sandu I. Pohonţu M.. (2001a) Research regarding the soft wood support degradation evaluation in old paintings using preparation layers. II. IR and FTIR Spectroscopy Revista de Chimie (Bucharest) 52 409-419.

  • Sandu I.C.A. Luca C. Sandu I. Atyim P. (2001b) Research regarding the soft wood support degradation evaluation in old paintings using preparation layers. 1. Chemical composition and technical analysis Rev.de Chimie (Bucharest) 52 46-52.

  • Sandu I. Luca C. Sandu I.C.A. Ciocan A. Suliteanu N. (2001c) A study on the compatibility of the old traditional artistical techniques with the new materials and methods used in the restauration preservation processes. II - A chromatic analysis Revista de Chimie (Bucharest) 52 485-490.

  • Sandu I.C.A. Bracci S. Sandu I. (2006) Instrumental analyses used in the authentification of old paintings - I. Comparison between two icons of XIXth century Revista de Chimie (Bucharest) 57 796-802.

  • Sandu I. Luca C. Sandu I.C.A. Vasilache V. (2007) Old paintings authentication through the identification of the polychrome layers materials - I. Gas-cromatography analyse Revista de Chimie (Bucharest) 58 879-866.Sandu I.C.A. Vasilache V.

  • Sandu I. Luca C. (2008a) Authentication of the Ancient Easel-paintings through Materials Identification from the Polychrome Layers III. Cross - section Analysis and Staining Test Revista de Chimie (Bucharest) 59 855-886.

  • Sandu I.C.A. Luca C. Sandu I. Vasilache V. Hayashi M. (2008b) Authentication of the ancient easel paintings through materials identification from the polychrome layers - II. Analysis by means of the FT-IR spectrophotometry Revista de Chimie (Bucharest) 59 384-387

  • Sandu I.C.A. Bracci S. Sandu I. Loberfaro M. (2009) Integrated Analytical Study for the Authentication of Five Russian Icons (XVI-XVII centuries Microscopy Research and Technique 72 755-765.

  • Sandu I.C.A. de Sa M.H. Pereira M.C. (2011a) Ancient 'gilded' art objects from European cultural heritage: a review on different scales of characterization Surface and Interface Analysis 43 1134-1151.

  • Sandu I.C.A. Busani T. de Sa M.H. (2011b) The surface behavior of gilding layer imitations on polychrome artefacts of cultural heritage Surface and Interface Analysis 43 1171-1181.

  • Sandu I.C.A. Murta E. Veiga R. Muralha V.S. Pereira M. Kuckova S. Busani T. (2013) An innovative interdisciplinary and multi-technique study of gilding and painting techniques in the decoration of the main altarpiece of Miranda do Douro Cathedral (XVII-XVIIIth centuries Portugal) Microscopy Research and Technique 76 733-743.

Search
Journal information
Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 149 82 4
PDF Downloads 92 56 4