Training a mural painting conservator and an architectural photographer

Just finished the 5-days training program for two staff of the HERCULES laboratory – University of Evora, Portugal. Milene Gil, a conservator specialized in mural paintings and Manuel Ribeiro, a professional photographer expert in the documentation of historical and modern architecture. Their training was funded by the PRIM’ART project (Portugal Rediscovering Mural Art)  (FCT PTDC/CPC-EAT/4769/2012). The goal was to discuss and practice imaging methodologies useful for this specific project. CHSOS has been invited as a project consultant. Thanks to the expertise provided by Milene, we decided to focus the practical section of the training on the series of 18th century frescoes discovered in 2012 in the Crucifix chapel in Aci Sant’Antonio, Sicily. It was just recently published a paper with their preliminary technical examinations on Archeomatica.

With the expertise of Milene and the help of Manuel we managed to further document and examine the murals, with raking, infrared and ultraviolet light. We also took particular care in the method to document the frescoes which are still enclosed in the early 20th century frames that had hidden them so far. The documentation provided during this training will be used to promote the actual restoration of the frescoes and will constitute the knowledge base for the intervention. As usual with these training programs, I thought as much as I learned from the two professional participants.

technical photography for conservation

Training, First Day. Testing the technical photography equipment with Milene Gil, mural painting conservator at Hercules Laboratory, Portugal.

raking ligth frescoes

Raking light is the method of choice for mural paintings since provides information on the painters workflow (“pontate”) and on the preparation of the sketches (incisions and tracing). The expertise of Milene was essential to interpret the raking photos.

frescoes aci sant'antonio raking

Manuel’s expertise, a professional architectural photographer, was instrumental to find technical solutions to the difficult task of documenting frescoes in such restrained enclosures.

domenico di mauro

We didn’t miss a visit to Master Domenico Di Mauro, the 101 years old painter of Sicilian carts in Aci Sant’Antonio.


[ws_table id=”4″]

Leave A Comment

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.