"number 07 ABSTRACT"
"number 05 ABSTRACT"
FILO FORME anno 3 n. 6
This review dealing with restoration concludes the first cycle of monographic issues of Filoforme dedicated to the various aspects of the study of the art and history of textiles.
As much as possible it presents the main topics in the field through a variety of themes and approaches; certainly the problems regarding the conservation of these objects could not be ignored.
The debate in this field – animated by scholars, curators and restorers – can be stimulating even for those who do not work in the sector.
The modern-day idea of restoration goes much beyond the choice between different techniques or solutions, making evident the need for attentive and careful planning.
This is the arrival point of a path that begins with the identification of the objectives of the intervention. Far from being an easy task or one that can be taken for granted, this stage often requires difficult critical, aesthetic and organisational evaluations, and good sense becomes as necessary as the choices are difficult.
The complexity of textile restoration is correlated to the different forms that it can assume: clothing, upholstery, tapestries, carpets, embroidery, lace, etc., and to the implications of the specificity of the historical-critical analysis of each of these sectors.
In addition, the characteristics of the materials make these restoration interventions among the most costly and time-consuming in that they require an almost entirely hand-sewn intervention.
The authors of these articles – even though working in different areas – demonstrate common aspects and exigencies, and especially the necessity for comparison and confrontation, which I hope creates interest for the readers.
The Tapestry and Textile Restoration Laboratory of the Vatican Museums: methods and technique for the restoration of the series of the Acts of the Apostles from the cartoons by Raphael.
Anna Maria De Strobel (page 3)
The Tapestry and Textile Restoration Laboratory of the Vatican Museums has a long tradition with its roots in the 18th century Roman production in San Michele. It was begun as a plant-school for tapestries, and over the years evolved into a restoration laboratory, bringing with it the techniques used in the modern-day concept of restoration. This evolution is particularly evident in the still-to-be completed intervention on the series of ten tapestries known as the Acts of the Apostles or the Old School, woven in Brussels from cartoons by Raphael. The decision to intervene was made in 1984 for the exhibition Rafaello in Vaticano and the work is still underway with the Sacrifice of Listra and the St. Paul in Prison. As was done previously for the Delivery of the Keys and in the Healing of the Lame, the choice was made to undertake an intervention that was strictly conservative in nature on the two current works. With these works, the range of the research was broadened to include diagnostic investigations of the analysis of the threads and the identification of the dyes used for colouring, carried out by the Scientific Research Section of the Vatican Museums.
Restoration Laboratory of the Costume Gallery at the Pitti Palace in Florence. Three different intervention methods.
Caterina Chiarelli (page 8)
The Textile Restoration Laboratory of the Costume Gallery has been and is the ‘regeneration’ source of the collection. In the past twenty years of existence, every piece in the collection – clothing, fashion accessory, theatrical costume or other – has passed through the Laboratory at the time of its acquisition in order to check its condition and, in the best of hypotheses, to carry out any ordinary maintenance necessary without intervention on the structural elements. In some cases, after a careful examination of the level of deterioration and the identification of eventual alterations from the original state, a restoration intervention was undertaken. In the category of textile objects, garments are perhaps the most ephemeral and most difficult to conserve. For this reason exposition concerns and the maintenance of the pieces in storage cannot be separated from the conservation concerns. Within or in close proximity to the exposition structure, the presence of a restoration laboratory is absolutely indispensable. Within the vast quantity of work that has been carried out, three interventions are highlighted. They are differentiated from one another in terms of type of damage and consequentially the type of intervention: a ball-gown from Paris Haute-Couture, label “C. Worth/Paris”, from the wardrobe of Donna France Jacona di San Giuliano Florio; a pair of woman’s shoes from a matching dress made in Sicily in about 1775-1780; an evening gown by Emilio Schubert, dating from about the mid-1950’s and belonging to Gina Lollobrigida.
Integration or conservation in the restoration of oriental carpets? A knot to unravel.
Alberto Boralevi (page 12)
The restoration of oriental carpets is still not codified: on one hand, the use of these objects requires an integration of the damage, on the other, the current thought behind the “ethics” of restoration does not permit reconstruction but rather a consolidation and conservation of the existing condition. It would be beneficial to recuperate not only the material aspect of the object and the brightness of the colours, but also the artistic effect of the composition with its symmetries and original proportions; an excessively philological severity produces only fragments and does not transmit the aesthetic message of the complete carpet. After having demonstrated the effects of a recent intervention that has practically “disintegrated” a well-known example of a Spanish carpet in the Islamic Museum of Berlin, the work on two Cairo Ottoman carpets from the 16th century – similar to one another but one destined for a private collection and the other for a museum – is presented.
Oriental Art Museum in Venice
Fiorella Spadavecchia (pag. 16) and Annamaria Morassutti (page 19)
The Oriental Art Museum in Venice owns an extraordinary collection of clothing and plain fabric from Japan, China and Indonesia. The collection consists of over 900 pieces from the collection begun by Enrico di Borbone, Count of Bardi, during his voyage around the world from 1887-1889. The collection was left to the State and was housed in the Cà Pesaro in 1928. The exposition choices made at the time for the collection, even though refined and evocative were not appropriate for the conservation of the textiles. An example of the restoration of a kosode (precursor to the current kimono), points out the enormous problems that were confronted during the recovery of this precious nucleus of Japanese clothing.