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Painting details

Author: Bernadini Luini (1480/90 - 1531). Contemporary of Da Vinci.
Style: Italian Renaissance. Beginning of Mannerism.
Title: untitled.
Subject: Ecce Homo
Period: XV-XVI c.
Sizes: 33.5cm x 49cm x 1cm without frame.

 
Technique: Oil paint applied with brush on hemp canvas. The painting is fixed in the correct direction to the stretcher. Cherry tree wood strainer in good state of conservation. The hand applied preparatory layer is well adhered to the canvas and the painting layer, though they show localized losses.
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Condition report

The state of conservation of the painting is bad.

•  Stretcher: The painting is fixed onto a non-original strainer, which is in good state of conservation but does not accomplish the basic functions as it is nailed down without wedges. Randomly distributed oxidized tacks hold the painting and the stretcher together. It shows considerable dirty surface .

•  Canvas: Various rips and holes show up on the rather old and dry canvas. The sides of the painting are partially frayed and dark spots and considerable dirt appear on the surface. It is very slacked and fixed with oxidized tacks.

•  Preparatory layer: Losses coincide with the rips and holes at the edges of the painting and cracks appear due to the antiquity of the painting.

•  Painting layer: Oil paint applied with brush. Warm colours such as reds and whites as well as earth colours are used. The paint texture is smooth and very thin. There are some losses of the paint layer where rips and holes are visible but it is well adhered to the preparatory layer. Cracks coincide with the ground layer.

•  Surface layer: Uniformly spread dirt on the entire painting surface forming a homogenous layer as well as bird excrements and other spots are visible. Some traces of dirt along the edges of the painting and due to the frame can clearly be noticed.
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Restoration process

Due to the present state of conservation of the work the procedure of restoration will be carried out as follows:

•  Analysis and condition report.
•  Dry cleaning of the dirty surface .
•  Cleaning tests.
•  Protection facing of the painting layer.
•  Removal of the canvas from the stretcher.
•  Protection and flattening of the rips.
•  Mechanical dry-cleaning of the reverse side.
•  Overall flattening of the work of art.
•  Relining with linen canvas.
•  Display and fixing onto the new Spanish type stretcher.
•  Tension strips adhered.
•  Removal of the protection facing.
•  Wet cleaning of paint layer with a neutral, non-aggressive product.
•  Leave to settle.
•  Intermediate dammar varnish.
•  Filling and levelling the fill of the parts where the preparatory and painting layers are damaged.
•  Intermediate dammar varnish.
•  Colour illusionist retouching.
•  Protective natural dammar varnish coating.
•  Preparing the restoration report.
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Advices for preventive conservation

It is advised to conserve the painting in a temperature between approximately 19ºC to 21ºC and in relative humidity between 60% to 65%. Also the painting should not be exposed to direct warm sources of heat (central heating,.) neither humid nor sunny areas. Moreover, any adhesive tape should be attached between the frame and the stretcher.
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