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Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Zaragoza

by Conservation


Zaragoza , Conservation , Sculpture , Polychrome

sculpture of St. Peter undergoing cleaning

This week in Objects Conservation: This polychrome sculpture of St. Peter sits at the center of our Lorenzo Zaragoza Retablo. The retablo has been in the paintings conservation lab over the past two years and is now nearing the end of its treatment. The sculpture will receive a similar treatment to match the newly conserved retablo paintings. In these photos you can see the conservator using solvents to carefully remove a thick discolored coating on top of the gold leaf. The upper part of the robe has been cleaned and the gold leaf shines brightly, in contrast to the lower uncleaned section where the gold leaf is still hidden under the dull brown coating. Soon the sculpture will be finished and the Retablo of St. Peter will be one step closer to being reinstalled in the museum.

 sculpture of St. Peter undergoing cleaning

Image Credit: Lorenzo Zaragoza (Spanish, active 1363-1406), Spanish, Saint Peter Enthroned detail from Retablo of Saint Peter, tempera, gold and silver on wood, 116 3/4 x 108 1/8 in. 1960.473, Cincinnati Art Museum, The Edwin and Virginia Irwin Memorial, 1960.473.