Academic thesis

Vera Ulrike Palm: Two late gothic sculptures: Dealing with several overpainting Back
Language: Original   -   Translation
Abstract: The present thesis deals with the preservation and restoration of two polychrome wooden sculptures from the ownership of the Schottenstift in Vienna. They portray the apostles St. Peter and St. Paul. No existing sources giving details about artist, date and origin are available. Judging from stylistic features the object's origin is assumed to be Southern Germany at the beginning of the 16th century. It is quite possible the two figures were originally part of an altarpiece.
Apart from research on their art history this thesis put special emphasis on the examination of the objects as well as on practical measures. A comprehensive and systematic examination of several overpaint layers revealed the two sculptures stratigraphic structure and it was possible to distinguish four different polychrome phases altogether.
Based on the results of this examination a concept for conservation and restoration was determined and executed for the sculpture of St. Peter. Due to the similarities in status and preservation this concept can easily be applied to the sculpture of St. Paul as well. The real challenge of the practical work was to deal with the inconsistent, aesthetically unsatisfactory overall impression. This was due to the coexistence of parts of the original polychromy, of inappropriate overpainting, and wood additions without polychromy.
Finally, the colour of the overpaint was partially adapted with glazes of oil paint; otherwise restoration treatment was carried out only limited.
In addition to conservation, the aim was to preserve as far as possible the gothic character of the sculpture and the traces of time. Thus, on the basis of the results of the examination, adequate conservation and restoration treatment were determined and executed in order be able to present the objects in an appropriate condition for its exhibition in a museum environment.


Keywords: polychrome wooden sculpture, paint layer analysis, overpaint, cast appliqué brocade, Late Gothic, altarpiece, Southern Germany
  • academic institution: Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien
  • kind of theses:  Diplomarbeit
  • main Tutor:  o.Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dipl.Ing. Wolfgang Baatz
  • assistant Tutor:  Mag. Dr. Isabella Kaml
  • date:  2017
  • Language:  German
  • pages:  209
  • pictures:  288

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