Retouching matt contemporary paint layers: a new approach using natural polymers

  • Paola Carnazza Ministry of Cultural Heritage at the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rome
  • Serena Francone Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage
  • Philip Morelli Professional for conservation
  • Rita Reale Conservation scientist at the Scuola del Beato Angelico in Milan
  • Maria Pia Sammartino Researcher at the Department of Chemistry of “La Sapienza” University of Rome
Palabras clave: reintegración en pinturas mate contemporáneas, medidas colorimétricas, negro de carbón, laminado plástico, aglutinantes naturales, pegamento de esturión, funori, sílice


Las diferentes técnicas de pintura, materiales y métodos de aplicación que caracterizan las obras de arte contemporáneas, con predominio de superficies mate y tonos uniformes, hacen de la reintegración cromática uno de los tratamientos de conservación más complicados, ya que la similitud es el objetivo principal. La intervención de reintegración realizada en Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea en Roma, en Tempi prospettici (1969), una instalación del artista italiano Carlo Alfano, dio la oportunidad de investigar un método para obtener diferentes valores mate / brillante a través de uso de polímeros naturales como aglutinantes. Los aglutinantes elegidos (diferentes polisacáridos, derivados de celulosa y pegamento de esturión) se analizaron, individualmente y mezclados, utilizando medidas colorimétricas y glosimétricas. La relación pigmento-aglutinante y la adición de sílice también se evaluaron para obtener la modulación de la apariencia mate de las formulaciones de pintura. La comparación de los valores colorimétricos de las muestras de pintura y los de la pintura original condujo a la identificación de la mejor solución para la reintegración de la obra de arte.


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Biografía del autor/a

Paola Carnazza, Ministry of Cultural Heritage at the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rome

Graduated in Contemporary Art History, she works as permanent conservator for the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage at the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rome, where she is responsible for the conservation of paintings and contemporary artworks at the Restoration Laboratory. Inside the museum, she deals continuously with conservation, restoration, protection, prevention, handling, documentation of works of art from the early 1800s to the present days. With regard to the conservation aspects, she takes care of exhibitions set-up, exhibition spaces, deposits, establishes the correct environmental microclimate for the display of works, draws up the methodologies for transport, manipulation and display of artistic heritage. She carries out research on preventive conservation applied to plan the management of museum collections. She is specialised in the study of synthetic materials of contemporary art. She has published articles in scientific journals on various artists including Burri, Capogrossi, Pellizza da Volpedo, Penone, Segantini, Turcato.

Serena Francone, Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage

Daughter of a sculptor, since she was a child she lived surrounded by art. After classical studies, she attended the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, where in 2011 she got a MA degree in Restoration of Contemporary Art, with a thesis on conservation issues of inflatable artworks and degradation of plasticized PVC. In 2012 she gained a postgraduate diploma at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence, with a research on preservation of rust as an artistic patina. She worked as freelance from 2012 to 2018, collaborating with other private conservators, art galleries, artists and public museums like the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea. Now she is a permanent employee of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage at the Museo delle Civiltà in Rome. She conducts research related to the ethical issues of conservation and to the study of innovative materials and solutions of intervention. Since September 2018, she is coordinator of CoCARe Network with Federica Bressan.

Philip Morelli, Professional for conservation

After a BA in conservation of wall paintings he continued his studies with a five-year course at the School of Higher Education of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence in the fields of wall painting, stone sculpture and mosaic conservation. He is actively involved in international research projects with public institutions (such as the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome) and private firms. Most recently he has worked on the conservation treatment of the Sepulchre of Ramon Llull in Palma de Mallorca (Spain). Philip Kron Morelli’s main research interest is to deepen the knowledge of traditional materials such as adhesive and consolidants for cultural heritage which he presented in several publications and conference papers and to develop new supports for detached wall paintings. Since 2012 he has worked as a professional for conservation projects on several Florentine masterworks by MarioUo di Nardo, Bernardino PocceV, Antonio Rossellino, BenedeUo da Maiano, Alessio BaldovineV and Antonio del Pollaiolo.

Rita Reale, Conservation scientist at the Scuola del Beato Angelico in Milan

MA in Applied Sciences to Cultural Heritage and Diagnostics for Conservation, PhD in Applied Sciences to the Protection of the Environment and Cultural Heritage (University “La Sapienza”, Rome). Professor of chemistry for restoration at the “Aldo Galli” Academy of Fine Arts in Como, she is conservation scientist at the Scuola del Beato Angelico in Milan (restoration section), and scientific consultant for restoration products based on essential oils for Exentiae srl company. Since 1984 has been collaborating with archeology and restoration companies and has the qualification of conservator according to the Italian regulations. In 2013 she followed a training internship at the microbiology unit of ENEA Casaccia, and at the Diagnostic Laboratory for the Conservation and Restoration of the Vatican Museums. From 2014 to 2018 she coordinated the restoration site for the works of the Vatican gardens.

Maria Pia Sammartino, Researcher at the Department of Chemistry of “La Sapienza” University of Rome

Degree in Chemistry and PhD in Chemical Sciences. Researcher at the Department of Chemistry of “La Sapienza” University of Rome.
Until 2018 teacher in Degree Courses on Cultural Heritage of the Mathematic, Physis and Natural Science Faculty of the “La Sapienza” University of Rome and author of a chapter of a textbook on the subject. Currently teacher in the Industrial Chemistry Degree Course of the same Faculty. Member of the Academic Board of the Doctorate in “Cultural Heritage” from 2008 to 2014. Member of the Scientific Committees and Organizer of the biennial International Meeting “Multivariate Analysis and Chemometrics Applied to Cultural Heritage and Environment” from 2006 up today. About 170 papers published in national and international journals, monographs and conference proceedings; over 100 communications at National and International Conferences. Current h-index equal to 23


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Cómo citar
Carnazza, P., Francone, S., Morelli, P., Reale, R., & Sammartino, M. P. (2020). Retouching matt contemporary paint layers: a new approach using natural polymers. Ge-Conservacion, 18, 384-393.