An Overview on Sculpture Conservation: Case-Studies

Ana Bidarra

The presentation will focus on sculpture conservation, based on various case-studies of objects restored in the Bachelor’s and Master’s classes in Sculpture Conservation at the Conservation and Restoration Degree of the Polytechnic University of Tomar. The sculptures date from the 16th to the 20th century and range from religious sculptures to animal anatomical models. The supports vary between wood, terracotta, gesso, papiermâché and plastic. With regard to the decorative layers, various materials and techniques will be presented, including oil and tempera paintings, and gilding and estofado decorations. The state of conservation of the art works was very different, which led to several options on the conservation and restoration treatment. The final casestudies will focus on the works carried out in the final year of the master’s programme, during the internships and will be about the conservation of altarpieces.

Ana Bidarra has a degree in Conservation and Restoration from the Polytechnic University of Tomar, a Master in GeoSciences from the University of Aveiro and a PhD from the same University. Her research theme was on the compositional and technological features of the gold leaf from Portuguese Baroque altarpieces. Author of several papers on conservation and on the technical study of art works. Coordinator of ICOM-CC Sculpture, Polychromy and Architectural Decoration Working Group (SPAD), for the 2020-23 triennium. Ana works as a conservator in private practice since 1999 and in 2013 co-founded a private conservation company (Cinábrio). Since 2017 she is also a teacher at Polytechnic University of Tomar (Portugal), on Sculpture Conservation and Restoration.

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