Restored paintings

St. Joseph dream (Anonymous of Florentine School - 17th century)
Oil on canvas, 88 x 73cm - San Miniato al Monte Basilica, Florence

As we have a very few information about this and the following two pictures, we decided to describe briefly the restorations works. Before the restoration, the painting was in pretty bad conditions: the canvas was strongly oxidized and fragile, furthermore it was very torn and had many holes (most of them previously patched up on the back), there was poor cohesion between preliminary layers and the canvas. As it was in so bad conditions, the picture was protected with a thin layer made of rabbit glue and Japanese paper, before being removed from the stretcher. In order to re-establish an adequate cohesion between the paintings layers, after removing the patches, the colour was fixed with some rabbit glue: this operation made the surface conditions improve. The next step was to eliminate tears and holes: the former have been welded, the latter have been filled with pieces of old canvas and putty. Backing was carried out according to the "Florentine manner", that allows to attach with hot paste the old canvas to a new defribed canvas, previously treated with animal glue.

The picture without the thin protective layer was remounted on a new stretcher and the pictorial layer was cleaned: this allowed to remove all the dirt and the yellowed paint which covered the image. The gaps were filled with coloured putty and prepared with tempera colours. After the first varnishing (made with a brush with mastic resin) the restoration was completed with tinted varnishes.


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