Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Repair of an Icon (Finished)

This is an image of the finished repair of the damaged icon, shown below.
Many months later, and after a great deal of work, the repair was completed, and the icon was delivered back to the Cathedral. They were happy with the repair, and I was very relieved.
This painting was quite interesting, as it was originally completed in layers, using glazes and scumbles. In repairing the image, it could not be painted alla prima. In order to match the surrounding undamaged areas, the image had to be painted in layers as well. I used Winsor and newton oil paints, and an alkyd medium, for the glazes. A year after the repair was completed, and the paint sufficiently cured, I varnished it with a synthetic varnish.

Repair of an Icon

I thought that I would post before and after images of a repair that I completed for The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, in Columbus, Ohio.

The first image is of the damaged icon. The icon was painted in oil on canvas, and not the traditional tempera paint on rigid support. Although it is old, it was completed in more of a Western style.

I was told by a church representative, that the icon was damaged by young people playing with a ball, that inadvertently got away from them. This left a significant tear in the image. The church then contacted an artist who reported to them that he could repair the image. I was told that the restorer soaked the painting in water. I was told that this restorer subsequently went to lunch, never to return. Apparently as the painting dried, the paint film surrounding the tear delaminated from the shrinking canvas support. I was asked if I could repair this piece, and although at first I was a bit over whelmed, I took on the task, and set to work.

This task at times seemed almost insurmountable. The damage was extensive, and there were literally hundreds of highly detailed tasks that had to be completed.