Assessment of Uncovering 14th C. Wall Paintings at Château de Germolles

Papiashvili, Nutsa (2016) Assessment of Uncovering 14th C. Wall Paintings at Château de Germolles. Master thesis, Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana.

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Abstract

The aim of this research is the evaluation of safe uncovering methods to reveal fourteenth century wall paintings in the Château de Germolles in France. The aim of uncovering is to allow understanding and appreciation of the sophisticated 14th C. decorations with multi-layer stratigraphy and significant metallic decorations with tin foils and gold leaves. The paintings in the dressing room and bedroom of Countess of Nevers, depict initial letter for ducal couple ‘P’ for Philip the ‘Bold’ and ‘M’ for his wife Margaret of Flanders, the letters are painted in white over a green background and are alternated by teasel decorated with metallic leaves. The historical modification of the rooms of ducal apartments at Château de Germolles started in the 19th C. when the painted walls have been covered with gypsum plaster and wallpaper. Before covering the paintings, the surface of the walls with the medieval decoration was keyed to provide roughness and better adhesion of the overlying plaster. The paintings have been hidden and forgotten until the 20th century when they were accidental rediscovered and partially uncovered. The rapid and abrupt removal of the plasters to reveal the medieval paintings caused significant damage and loss of the original decorations. The subsequent 1990’s restoration work has stabilized the wall paintings but also contaminated them with addition of conservation materials, extensive repainting and overpainting interventions. As a results the full scheme of the original paintings has been compromised and misinterpreted, the traces of sophisticated metallic decorations have been mostly lost or covered by repaintings. Now several portion of paintings are still covered by the 19th C. plaster. The development of a safe uncovering method would allow to reveal original remains not treated during historical interventions and to understand the original scheme of the paintings and its techniques. Furthermore, this study aimed at understanding deterioration problems and development of conservation methodology to ensure stability of the paintings over time.

Item Type: Thesis (Master)
Supervisors: Piqué, Francesca and Degrigny, Christian
Subjects: Costruzioni
Divisions: Dipartimento ambiente costruzioni e design > Conservazione
URI: http://tesi.supsi.ch/id/eprint/1926

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