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THE PROJECT “STRUCTURAL TREATMENTS ON DOUBLE-SIDED PAINTINGS” (CONSERVING CANVAS INITIATIVE – GETTY FOUNDATION)
Conserving Canvas is a grant initiative promoted by the Getty Foundation. Its focus is on complex conservation treatments of canvas paintings which involve structural operations on the textile support. The initiative promotes the transmission of knowledge and skills at an international level through exchanges between professionals and training programs addressed to young conservators. Among the grant recipients there are many highly qualified institutions: https://www.getty.edu/foundation/initiatives/current/conservingcanvas/cc_grantsawarded.html
In the context of this initiative the Centro Conservazione e Restauro “La Venaria Reale” was awarded a grant for a project concerning structural treatments on double-sided paintings, including several training activities linked to the conservation treatment of the banner painted by Giulio Cesare Procaccini belonging to the Pinacoteca di Brera (Milan).
National and international experts have been involved to confront and share ideas on the topic of double-sided paintings and on the peculiar issues of our case study. Moreover, the Centre hosted 2 practical workshops for conservators who undertook training activities in the Laboratory of Paintings on Canvas, in close contact with our staff.
Watch the video which shows the various phases of the project, with interviews to the professionals involved and to the workshop participants.
The Proceedings of the events that took place in November 2020, dedicated to the case-studies (“Case-studies and professional experiences on double-sided paintings”, 18 November 2020) and to the Expert Meeting (23, 24, 25 November 2020), include the experiences of the professionals who worked on double-sided paintings and banners, together with the contributions of the experts invited to discuss the structural treatment on the banner by Giulio Cesare Procaccini.
The first phase of the project was dedicated to collecting case-studies on double-sided paintings which presented analogies with Procaccini’s banner in order to investigate the state of the art on the conservation of double-sided paintings. We came in contact with conservators, museum curators and art historians who dealt, in the course of their career, with similar conservation treatments on banners/canvases painted on both sides, giving particular relevance to artworks with tears or stretching issues.
Moreover, we involved experts for a virtual round table discussion on the conservative issues of the Procaccini’s banner, currently under treatment in the CCR Laboratories.
From the exchanges between the CCR project team and these professionals from national and international institutions, the idea for two events was born: “Case-studies and professional experiences on double-sided paintings” (November 18, 2020) and the “Expert Meeting” (November 23, 24 and 25, 2020). In these occasions, the scientific community as well as the general public were given access to the first outcomes of the project. Due to the limits imposed by the pandemic, the events were re-organized in a digital format, allowing access at a global level to this precious exchange and training opportunity.
With the support of the Getty Foundation through its Conserving Canvas initiative, the Centre organised a practical workshop addressed to conservators specialized in paintings on canvas.
The workshop was held in two different editions: June 2021 and October 2021.
It was an opportunity for 6 conservators (3 per each edition) to deal with complex topics concerning double-sided paintings.