Why do we need to restore?
Restoration will stay essential to permit the recovery of the possibility of a dial between the original work of art and it admirer. It’s for this reason that the restoration of the damaged work of art must be done with subtle, sensitive, intelligent and thoughtful intervention means knowing that a mediocre work of art can’t expect an improvement of a restoration even elaborated.
We should never forget a fundamental principle: if the painter, during the choice of his technical, would know the low of the maturing process of the used materials, he wasn’t able to consider his work of art as finished the day during he put down his brushes. He was necessary aware of the physic-chemical transformation, the drying evolution and the patina of age. It’s consequently an “evolved” original, we have to be aware of it and respect it.
Allégement et dégagement des vernis jaunes
How to restore?
UNDERSTAND BY RESTORING
All the means and historical elements that we have, combined with modern techniques are used for a better understanding of a work of art.
However, an esthetic approach of a work of art is combined with the technical and structural understanding because there is a relationship between the picture and the complex combination of materials used. The laboratory files are the base of knowledge of problems and the development of work.
The research rests on different photography essential to a better knowledge of the work of art:
-One or more pictures with normal light and tangential light
-Photography under UV radiations
-Photography under X ray
These examinations and also the sample of pictorial matters for the knowledge of the materials, add a very important asset for the choice of the intervention.
The best positioning for an ideal restoration is to act less than possible. The things added to the original materials must follow a respect and the knowledge of all the settings of the work of art.
The repairing of a work of art mustn’t take part of a conception peculiar to a period or a particular taste because there is a risk to alter it. The excessive restorations detach the work of art from it creation time.
Allégement et dégagement des vernis jaunes
What’s a restorer?
A HIGH-LEVEL MANAGER
He has training in different domains. Art historian, he has a solid knowledge of painting.
Artistically, his academic art training following the tradition of the Beaux-arts, with courses of live-model, documentary studies and copy of paintings permit him to be more familiar with the old works of art.
Scientifically, the physical-chemical notions well integrated allow the restorer to do treatment operations reducing risks. The scientific training is essential for the restorer qualification; it’s not an obstacle but a release.
Always in progress, this profession allows the restorer to introduce this expressive sensibility to tackle all the questions and to submit to imperatives of a work of art in danger and gain advantage from a best conservation in time.
The trivariance retouch system
It’s conforming to a particular method. Conditioned by the light decomposition, we have to remind us the theory of dividing colors to know it. Without talk about the details which explain the optical and physical phenomena, we can resume this method introducing some principles which could identify it.
The synthesis additive phenomena permit the rigorous application of colored points applied on the palette with suitable proportions to recreate the color desired.
When the colors are mixed on the palette, they obscure themselves. If they are applied with layer, they show dark tones, often dirty and we need to correct it in order to obtain the definitive tone.
The opacity created is getting old quickly in a bad way due to the contradictions of the chemical elements. The multiplicity of layers hides the light because of the pigments.
Our method allows a light maturing process of the retouch and a reduction of the materials which gives priority to the colorless.
On the other hand, this method is applicable to all the paintings, all the periods are concerned because it’s enough precise and defined. This method can submit to the level of reintegration required by the pictorial original matter.
Even if this technical seems more difficult and rigorous, we use in fact, very simple means.
The pictorial work can be considered like a secondary source of light, the primary one is the sun. We need the eyes of the spectator to define the color like a triplet.
The main property of the normal vision is trivariance.
All the colored lights can be recreated with the addition of three colored lights chosen among primary colors: red, yellow and blue for physiological efficacy reasons.
These three pure colored juxtaposed points, thanks to their intensity (the concentration of the pigment), their place and their number on the palette, allows us to reconstitute any tone which lacks if we do that on a perfectly white back (putty) which represents the light to allow this addition.
We have the additive process of the trichromatic synthesis.
When we talked for the first time about our personal system of retouch developed with the School of Fontainebleau painting Gabriele d’Estrée and her sister in 1972, we was aware of the large possibility of this rigorous method.
We have a perfect reversibility in the choice of chemical components and with the few quantity used. The method is stable, reinforced by the choice of retouch’s matters studied in a laboratory to get a minimal aging process.
Thirty years after the creation, we can see excellent results compare to a less technical retouch.
It is the preparation of the editing by juxtaposition of colored dots
Restoration is a difficult and noble activity which can’t admit mediocrity. The restoration of art paintings’ problems has specific characteristics that not permit us to think that naively, we just have to be a good painter to repair damaged paintings. It’s the disastrous improving.
A good restorer must be able to immerse himself with the different styles, like a time travel and penetrate into artist’s spirit. If the know-how is doubled by a real scientific knowledge, it could be sure that the restorer will be able to repair the works of art with security and efficacy.
Restoration is essential to link the work of art and the spectator. We obviously need scientific documentation besides.
Our specific retouching technique use the law of the additive optical mixes and offer reversibility, thinness, lightness and colorless supported by a real of protection’s politics.
œuvre en cours de restauration
Test of cleaning
A solvent studied for that case allows removing the first resinous varnish and the superficiality of some repainting.
Painting once stripped of these many additions and covering, presents an original beautiful matter which found a new clarity, a pearly transparency for the face, which is, in better state than the rest as we divined it with the radio. For the bust, it is different, although conforms to the vision of the radio, we are in presence of a pictorial film very worn, with many lacunars places, but we can find originals pieces which were covered by thick and overflowing repainting and without any perspective.
Accidents in hollows are closed with mastics. They are worked in matter that is to say that we recreate the relief of the pictorial matter which is near to respect and obtain continuity between the mastic and the original film, and that, within overflowing.
That choice is led by the fact that the color posed only is a colored tone, and none a thick matter of replacement. This is the matter in relief of the mastic which had this role.
Test of cleaning 2
The second part is the longest and the most delicate. The choice of the repainting based of the transparency is obligatory. The material in the pallet is composed by pure pigments related with resin. For the painting on the mastics, a first “a plat” is posed, with a pure color, cold and more or less diluted according to the color we have to find, but never in thickness; (not use of black and white on the pallet), we proceed on a superposition of a complementary color according to the needs in order to reach the desired color. Mixtures are done on the pallet but only with superposition of pure tons, playing with superposition of pure tons adjusted on the lacuna, which allows an excellent ageing of the repainting. For the bust and the other derma zone and lacunars, the reconstitution is always made by juxtaposition of pure color, the play enters the color and it’s complementary, always without using either black or white.
Weaving between the empty zones and the original parts makes it possible to reconstitute values which have disappeared. The encountered difficulties were the precision, at the same time of the tones which can only be posed in one time, and to respect the gap or the wear in order to avoid the overflow which could give an unfortunate overload. A light varnished resin was selected in order to balance the glossed final aspect.
En cours de réintégration après dégagement des anciens repeints