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Kunsthaus Zürich

Giacomo Balla
Conservation and restoration work

The consolidant (a mixture of JunFunori and sturgeon glue) was applied to the areas of paint at risk by means of an aerosol generator. The machine used ultrasound to convert the adhesive into a very fine mist that was sprayed selectively onto the affected areas via a tube with a nozzle attached (see illustrations). This allowed minute particles of adhesive to consolidate the loose and powdery paint without causing saturation or darkening of the paintwork.
A number of passes were required to achieve the desired effect.
This method was not sufficient to consolidate the loose flakes of paint in the rather more impasto white areas of the paint layer. A somewhat more concentrated and more strongly adhesive mixture was therefore used. Working under the microscope, this was applied selectively beneath the lifting paint using a brush and gently pressed down.
The few minor tears in the canvas were then repaired and flaws in the paint layer were retouched to match the surrounding paintwork.

Fig. 1
Consolidation work using an aerosol generator
Photo: Viola Möckel, Kunsthaus Zürich
Fig. 1
Consolidation work using an aerosol generator
Photo: Viola Möckel, Kunsthaus Zürich
Fig. 2
Condition prior to retouching
Photo: Viola Möckel, Kunsthaus Zürich
Fig. 2
Condition prior to retouching
Photo: Viola Möckel, Kunsthaus Zürich
Fig. 3
Condition after retouching
Photo: Viola Möckel, Kunsthaus Zürich
Fig. 3
Condition after retouching
Photo: Viola Möckel, Kunsthaus Zürich