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Michele D. Marincola and Lucretia Kargère, 2020

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Medieval polychrome wood sculptures are highly complex objects, bearers of histories that begin with their original carving and adornment and continue through long centuries of repainting, deterioration, restoration, and conservation. Abundantly illustrated, this book is the first in English to offer a comprehensive overview of the conservation of medieval painted wood sculptures for conservators, curators, and others charged with their care.

Beginning with an illuminating discussion of the history, techniques, and meanings of these works, it continues with their examination and documentation, including chapters on the identification of both the wooden support and the polychromy itself–the paint layers, metal leaf, and other materials used for these sculptures.

The volume also covers the many aspects of treatment: the process of determining the best approach; consolidation and adhesion of paint, ground, and support; overpaint removal and surface cleaning; and compensation. Four case studies on artworks in the collection of The Cloisters in New York, a comprehensive bibliography, and a checklist to aid in documentation complement the text.

Listen to authors Michele Marincola and Lucretia Kargère introduce themselves and the impetus for their book.

Getty · Conservation of Medieval Polychrome Wood Sculpture Audio