Schedule: The course of study lasts 2 weeks for a total of 60 hours. Lessons take place from Monday to Friday, part-time, both morning and afternoon.
Target: The course is designed for high school graduates, university students or professionals from other fields, who want to deepen or approach the Italian tradition of restoration of cultural heritage and wish to learn the basic notions and techniques, or experiment with new ones.
Methodology and structure
The course, conceived as a traditional restoration workshop, is characterized by an immediate approach to practical work in the laboratory where, under the guidance of our teachers, you manually experiment with the basic techniques of restoration and conservation of paintings on canvas and on panel, intervening on artifacts provided by the school. The theoretical notions are addressed during the practical work.
Under the guidance of our expert teachers you acquire the fundamental skills to approach the analysis of the works in a correct way, the main intervention techniques linked to the Italian tradition of restoration, the tools and the appropriate scientific language.
By the end of the course, characterized as a restoration workshop, you will have learned the basics to map out basic restoration and conservation interventions on artworks and artifacts.
Structural Restoration - The first week is dedicated to the structural problems of the paintings, such as: 1) consolidation, lining, reduction of tears and small inlays as regards the paintings on canvas; 2) panel paintings consolidation, insect infestation ( wood can be a food source or a nesting place for a variety of insects such as wood-boring beetles, termites, and grubs ), the reduction of bubbles in the pictorial film, etc..
Aesthetic Restoration - The second week is dedicated to the aesthetic restoration, both imitative and with chromatic selection ( through the study of the colour, the style of the work and the intervention techniques ).
The site visits to Basilica di Sant’Abbondio, Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta (Duomo), Chiesa San Fedele, Pinacoteca Civica ( Como ), Isola Comacina, la Villa del Balbianello ( Lenno ) and Santa Tecla and San Giovanni ( Torno ) churches represents an important method of learning as well as a cultural enrichment.
Study of the easel paintings
The first step consists in the in-depth study of the painting and the definition of its problems, in order to establish the necessary intervention for its restoration and future conservation. In this phase, you learn about the most common types and causes of degradation of the paintings. Then the course moves on to the protection of the pictorial film by means of glazing, an indispensable operation both on paintings on canvas and on panel.
The next step consists in the restoration of the supports. Lining, streep lining, suturing of cuts and abrasions, consolidation of the paint with regard to paintings on canvas using the vacuum technique; consolidation and reclamation of the wood part from insect attack and solutions for paint adhesion loss for panel paintings.
A basic knowledge of chemistry will be acquired through the cleaning phase, in order to allow you to
comprehend the criteria for choosing the solvents and their use. Given the complexity of the cleaning operations, you will act on limited parts of the painting. Once the cleaning has been completed, the missing parts are plastered with a spatula for the paintings on canvas and with a brush for those on wood.
Hints on water and mordant gilding. The teacher will show you (on previously prepared tablets) the various phases of gilding according to the Italian Renaissance system. You will be able to use both real and fake gold.
Notes on the theory of colors. Exhibition of colours useful for the restoration and preparation of palettes.
You acquire the tempera retouching method with varnish color finishing.
Explanation of natural and synthetic paints and their use.