SACI Post-Bac in Art Conservation students present their conservation-restoration projects and thesis research in a virtual exhibit
Throughout the 2019-2020 academic year, students in the Post-Bac in Art Conservation program at SACI have been researching their thesis topics using resources and historic sites throughout Florence and the surrounding area. Led by program director Dr. Roberta Lapucci and conservation instructors Leonardo Borgioli, Daniela Murphy Corella, Nenad Jovanovic, Philip Kron Morelli, Nora Marosi, and Alice Parri, they have gained hands-on experience restoring easel and mural paintings, frames, polychrome wooden artworks, prints, and archaeological artifacts that are part of Italy’s rich cultural heritage - working on site and with leading experts to explore these topics of cultural and historical importance.
In place of an in-person exhibit, our students have created a virtual exhibit of works from throughout the year. The public will be able to view the exhibition video through June 15th.
We would like to extend our appreciation and thanks to all the officers of the Superintendence and the institutions that have provided their support and given authorization for the publication of images. A special thank you to Friends of Florence for their generous support to SACI’s Archaeological Conservation Department.
End-of-Year Virtual Exhibit
"The students of the Post-Baccalaureate in Art Conservation 2019-2020 program are pleased to present the 'End-of-Year Virtual Exhibit' featuring a diverse collection of works we had the privilege to work on in Florence, Italy, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. We wish to share what we've learned and present our conservation projects to those near and far through this virtual exhibit."
- Post-Bac in Conservation Students
Not featured in the video is the research undertaken by each student on a topic related to the major discipline that was carried out throughout the academic year of 2019-2020. Here are brief descriptions of each student's thesis.
“Mediterranean to Micro: A Study of Climates for the Conservation of Madonna con Gesù Bambino e Santi”
This thesis analyzes the climates and microclimates that affect the restoration, preservation, and safeguarding of the large oil painting Madonna con Gesù Bambino e Santi. After SACI finishes restoring this late baroque artwork, it will return to its home in the Church of Saint Anthony on the island of Capraia. Both the overall Mediterranean climate and the microclimate of the church have a significant impact on the continued well-being of the painting. By considering variables such as gigantic air masses colliding to create prevailing winds, nitrate salts rising from the tombs through capillary systems in the walls, and the slow percolation of molds, SACI conservators can apply informed restoration treatment and future maintenance for the painting once it returns to the church.
“Relightable Images for Cultural Heritage Conservation”
A device was designed to ameliorate concerns with the cost and specificity of capturing relightable images of cultural heritage objects. The device built upon previous gantry designs, but reduced the size and cost of the associated lights and framework, optimizing for in-situ documentation and documentation of large museum collections.
Megan O. Dinnell
“Four Ancient Pigments and Four Ancient Binding Mediums: The before and after effects of common corrosion types on specific pigments and mediums used in ancient paintings”
The thesis was originally intended to investigate the visual deterioration and create a template of what a person needs to quickly look for without additional equipment, in order to safely assess and handle artworks under emergency circumstances, such as a flood, for example.
“A Proposal for Preventive Conservation Strategy of the Future Museum of the Origins of Chianti”
This thesis was created as a manual for the best preventive conservation practice to be used in the future Museum of the Origins of Chianti in the village of Gaiole. This work is a compilation of the major issues and concerns that the museum will have to face. Proposals and suggestions for these issues and concerns are posed. The methodology used was to focus on the most relevant agents of deterioration, elaborate on these concerns, and propose possible suggestions applicable to the museum and its collection.
“How to Remove Polyvinyl Acetate?”
This thesis divulges into the cleaning of a severely damaged oil painting masked with a glossy transparent layer of polyvinyl acetate adhesive commercially known as Vinavil 59. The owner necessitated the removal of the adhesive to inhibit further deterioration and to restore the painting. The research aims to uncover a non-aggressive method by administering a series of chemical tests. The experiments will identify the ideal solvents in mitigating the strength of the adhesive by slowly diffusing the solvent through a thickening agent.
“Geographical Changes of Elba Island”
This research aims to accurately record the geographical history of Campo nell’Elba with pictorial and written evidence on the cartographical and geographical changes from the last century. They have been gathered from the Italian Geographic Military Institute (IGMI), the Biblioteca Marucelliana, the Library of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence, the Alinari archives, the Scala archives, Giunti Editore and other private archives. This research will be combined with the municipality of Campo nell'Elba to locate and map the buildings existing historically on the territory, to construct a 3D rendering of three main moments of its development, and to finally compile a written document of the geographical changes.
“Preliminary Proposal for the Conservation and Restoration of the De Gregori Brothers Alter in the Church of Sant'Antonio”
This is a proposal focusing on the planning and conservation treatment for an altar located in Sant'Antonio Church on Capraia Island. The church has fallen into severe disrepair. The altar has suffered mechanical damage as well as salt and water infiltration damage. To create a treatment plan, analysis of structural materials, causes of degradation, and past treatment must be identified and mapped. After analysis, treatment to stabilize and restore the altar is proposed. Directions for future care of the altar is detailed.
“The Influence of Raphael’s Frescoes on 16th to 18th Century Printmaking”
Raphael’s influence and collaboration in the rise of the reproductive print is examined by looking specifically at the frescoes and related work he completed during his lifetime. These include his preparatory drawings for Pinturicchio’s frescoes in the Piccolomini Library, his cartoons for the Sistine Chapel Tapestries, and select frescoes in Rome. This research will provide a historical context for the series of Raimondo Faucci engravings of the Piccolomini Library frescoes that I had started treating and will be finished by future conservators at SACI.
“Analysis and Comparison of Violante Beatrice of Bavaria to the Goddess Diana through Portraiture”
This thesis delves into the mythology of the Roman goddess Diana and her representation in art through the centuries. The classical characteristics of Diana are identified in the late 17th-century painting of a noblewoman, argued to be Violante Beatrice of Bavaria, located at the U.S. Consulate in Florence, Italy. Historical and diagnostic analysis of the painting point to the identification of Violante Beatrice as the woman depicted in the portrait and Filippo Maria Galletti as the artist. The information in this study will be helpful for future research on Galletti’s work and for the restoration of his canvas painting.
“The Portraits of Ferdinand III of Lorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany and his Wife, Luisa Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily from the US Consulate in Florence Italy”
This thesis looks into the study of biographical history and iconography of Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Luisa Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily. Through visual analysis and comparisons of other various portrait paintings of the two figures made by different artists, and the analysis from diagnostic results performed before the conservation treatment, the information on their portrait genre will provide better understanding of the genesis of the work and provide a more conscious approach towards the restoration procedure of these two paintings.
Yetunde O. Odediran
“Preventive Conservation: A Study of Conservation Guidelines for the Loan and Transportation of a Historic Painting from Capraia Island, Italy, to Lagos, Nigeria”
The aim of this thesis was to identify the major factors that facilitate the deterioration of easel paintings with the purpose of creating a restoration project that will make the Madonna with Child Jesus and Saints painting from the Island of Capraia fit for loan and exhibition at the Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art, Lagos. The study provides guidelines for the proper transportation, packing, storage and display of the painting.
Irving R. Plaza-Fuentes
“Technological Approaches for the Survey, Reconstruction and Didactic Capabilities of Cultural Heritage Sites, the Case of Marina di Campo, Elba Island”
This research investigates the different technologies for the survey and acquisition of 3D information from Cultural Heritage sites and their didactic applications in museum environments. The main goal of the investigation is to find and employ these technologies to create a digital reconstruction video and various physical models to display the growth of Marina di Campo, Elba, throughout the years. Various methods are discussed and compared to achieve the best results in creating display models from the aerial photographs acquired from the Istituto Geografico Militare (IGM) in Florence, Italy.
“The Iconology of an Artwork in the Chiesa di Sant’Antonio at Capraia”
This study intends to look into the genesis of the painting, Madonna col Bambino e Santi, along with the changes during its execution, through the analysis of its image diagnostics. It delves into the revelation of the iconology of the painting (as derived from Erwin Panofksy’s book entitled Meaning in the Visual Arts: Papers In and On Art History), by describing its iconographical attributes, reflecting on the history of Capraia and Genoa, and indicating its connection to Spanish Baroque art.