"The Getty Conservation Institute Field Trip Report Metodología y"
The Getty Conservation Institute Field Trip Report Seville and Granada, Spain May 12-16, 2002 By: F. LeBlanc Metodología y aplicaciones para intervenciones en retablos de madera policromada This four-day workshop held in Seville and Granada, Spain, was an international activity sponsored jointly by the GCI and the Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Historico of Spain. It gathered more than forty experts from thirteen countries. The object of the workshop was to develop a common methodology and a set of guidelines for the study and The cathedral and Giralda of Seville conservation of altarpieces. Most of the invited participants were experts from Latin America and Spain, where a large number of altarpieces masterpieces are found. The workshop was held at the headquarters of the IAPH with site visits in Seville and Granada from May 12 to16. The schedule was a bit grueling for many participants as the normal working hours had us having breakfast at 8:00 AM, lunch around 3:00 PM and dinner at 10:00 or 11:00 PM. Nevertheless, the hospitality and friendliness of our hosts in Seville was superb and appreciated by everyone. The workshop did reach the objective of drafting a common methodology and principles for the study and conservation of altarpieces. This first draft will be reviewed and expanded during the next few months and shared internationally via the Getty website and publications of the IAPH. The possibility of translating this document in several languages will be explored as well as the possibility of developing a publication on the conservation of altarpieces in the Official opening by Julian Martinez-Garcia and Tim GCI’s Papers in Conservation series. Whalen 1 Participants Belgium: Myriam Serck-Dewaide Bolivia: Carlos Rua Landa Brazil: Susana Cardoso Fernandez, Vania Parreira, Adriano Reis Ramos Colombia: Hector Oswaldo Prieto Gordillo, Eugenia Serpa Isaza Ecuador: Diego Santander, Manuel Jiménez Carrera Germany: Angela Huckel Italy: Francesca Tonini Mexico: Teresa Loera Cabeza de Vaca, Blanca Noval Vilar, Fanny Unikel Santoncini, Jaime Cama Villafranca Netherlands: Agnes Gräffin Ballestrem Peru: Carmen Fortunata Huanay Herrera Portugal: Agnes Le Gac Spain: Rosaura Garcia Ramos, Ana Carrassón, José M. Rodríguez Acosta, José González López, Romàn Fernàndez-Baca Casares, Lorenzo Pérez del Campo, María Campoy Naranjo, Araceli Montero Moreno, Irene Sen USA – Getty: Tim Whalen, J.M. Teutonico, Barbara Anderson (GRI), François LeBlanc, Françoise Descamps, Valerie Dorge Observers from Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Histórico Raniero Baglioni, Isabel Fernández Medina, Gabriel Ferreras Romero, Nieves Jiménez Díaz, Silvia Martínez García-Otero, Gracia Montero Saucedo, Cinta Rubio Faure, Pedro Salmerón Escobar, Eva Villanueva Romero. Support Staff Virginia Horton (GCI), Consuelo León (from the ICOMOS Secretariat), Maria José Dominguez, Maria Compoy, and Fátima Morín. Before getting into the specifics and the accomplishments of the workshop, lets briefly refresh our understanding of the history of Seville and Andalusia. History of Seville and Andalusia Andalusia’s early history is an extraordinary tale of ancient cities. Cadiz, founded in 1100 BC, is the oldest city in Europe – and waves of settlers, each one contributing new ideas and customs. Hominids first inhabited the region about one million years ago. Homo sapiens had arrived by 25,000 BC, and by the Iron Age a strong Iberian culture had emerged. Later, trade and cultural links developed first with the Phoenicians, then with the Greeks and Carthaginians. These ties and the abundance of natural raw materials, such as iron, gold and copper ore, made this part of Iberia one of the wealthiest and most sophisticated areas of the Mediterranean. The Romans were attracted by its riches and made their first forays into southern Spain in 206 BC. They ruled for almost 700 years. Their place was eventually taken by the Visigoths as the Western Roman Empire crumbled in the 5th century AD. The Moors, who followed, 2 flourished first in Córdoba, then in Seville, and, towards the end of their almost 800 year rule, in the Nasrid kingdom of Granada. After the fall of Granada to the Christians in 1492, Spain entered an era of expansion and prosperity. The conquest of the New World made Seville one of the most affluent cities in Europe, but much of this wealth was squandered on wars by the Habsburg kings. By the 18th century Spain had fallen into economic decline; in the 19th and early 20th centuries poverty led to political conflict and, ultimately, to the Civil War. The years following the Civil War saw continyuing poverty, though mass tourism in the 1960s and 70s did much to ease this. With Franco’s death and Spain’s entry into the EU, the Spanish began to enjoy increasing prosperity and democratic freedoms. Andalusia still lagged behind, however, and the Expo ’92 was part of government policy to foster its economic growth. Giralda Seville panorama San Telmo Palace Typical street Summary of the Case Studies In preparation for the workshop, participants were asked to write case studies for the conservation of altarpieces from their countries and highlight some of the important issues that they had to face. The fourteen case studies were presented during the first day of the workshop. They will be published in their entirety by the IAPH in the coming year. 1. Colombia – Retablo de San José, Iglesia de San José de Tubará, Tubará – Presented by Eugenia Serpa Isaza The community played a very important role in this project. Members of the community initiated it and were heavily involved in the conservation process. They also influenced the decision to have the intervention done in situ and not transfer the altarpiece to the conservation laboratories. In this case, the criteria for intervention were clearly established at the onset. Some issues raised by this case study : • The role of the community in the decision making process • The use of consultants • How are aesthetic criteria established? 3 2. Bolivia – Retablo de la Basílica Menor de San Francisco, La Paz – Presented by Carlos Rua Landa This project was done in collaboration with the Goëthe Institute; the Getty Grant Program sponsored the study. In an early document entitled “Origin of the Project”, it is mentioned that the project was established to develop a model for the conservation of other altarpieces. A multi-disciplinary team developed the project. From theory through to implementation, the approach was successful and the work was well coordinated. The request for a photogrammetric survey was initiated with the national Geodesic Institute but was not carried through because of its lack of expertise in land photogrammetry. One strong point was the collaboration between all the professionals of various disciplines working towards a common goal. One weak point was the lack of participation of a lighting specialist. Another one was the limited historical and technical bibliography. Some issues raised by this case study : • How to intervene following a loss of part of an altarpiece by fire? • The documentation process as it relates to budgets • The pillaging of heritage for financial profit 3. Brazil – Retablo Mayor de la Capilla de la Matriz de San António, Santa Bárbara, Minas Gerais – Presented by Susana Cardoso Fernandez This case illustrated a very straightforward technical conservation approach. Nevertheless, the sociological aspects were brought forward when the community questioned the conservation criteria. At the same time, no link was made between the community’s expectations and the conservation criteria expressed by the conservator. If these two points of view had been brought together, this might have helped to formulate a better conservation proposal. Some issues raised by this case study : • How should we deal with earlier incorrect restorations? • Intermittent government support programs and how they impact on projects 4. Mexico – Yanhuitlán – Presented by Blanca Noval Vilar The village of Yanhuitlán has a population of 400. So few inhabitants to conserve such an important treasure is quite a challenge. Those responsible for the conservation of the altarpiece worked closely with the population, involving not only the adult inhabitants but also the children. This was an academic, a social and a practical project. As a partner in this project, the Getty Conservation Institute was involved in documenting the altarpiece, identifying the altarpiece’s materials and training the local population in fire prevention techniques. Only the four top panels were restored. Funds are being raised to finalize the conservation project. Some issues raised by this case study : 4 • How community mindsets can be changed so that it will support the conservation of this important heritage • How involving students and academics can benefit the project 5. Spain – Retablo de Santa Eulalia, Iglesia Parroquial de Marquínez – Retablo de San Bartolomé, Iglesia Parroquial, Olano, Alva – Presented by Rosaura Garcia Ramos This case illustrates the contrast between two situations. The first concerns an altarpiece that should remain in its rightful place but that must be removed because of the irreversible state of decay of the church. The second concerns an altarpiece that the local authorities want to move because of value-related reasons and private interests. This case highlighted the debate between Church representatives and the National Heritage Institution responsible for the place where the altarpiece should stay in the future. Several points of interest are confronted such as the ethics of the conservation professionals and the significance of the altarpiece, the historical and traditional values, and the interest for public use and enjoyment. From a technical point of view, the case focused on past and future environmental conditions. Some issues raised by this case study : • Overpainting : remove it or keep it? • Moving of altarpieces from their original setting 6. Ecuador – Retablo de San Francisco Javier, Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús, Quito – Presented by Diego Santander and Manuel Jiménez Carrera The general principles for interventions stated in this case study integrate general conservation principles but also the need for safety and preventive measures. The need for information dissemination and the implementation of an appropriate maintenance program were clearly stated. At the time of inauguration of the restored altarpiece, a fire occurred due to lighting equipment being too close to accumulated sawdust and other inflammable materials left behind the altarpiece. This was a significant event and the subject of several newspaper articles. Some issues raised by this case study : • The management of controversy within the professional team of conservators • The importance of having qualified professionals to work on the conservation of altarpieces 5 7. Belgium – Retable de l’Église Saint Nicholas, Enghien et Retable de la Vraie Croix, Église Saint-Lambert, Bouvignes-sur- Meuse – Presented by Myriam Serck-Dewaide The specific interest of this case is that the same process, applied by the same conservators generated two distinct decisions. On the one hand, minimal intervention was chosen as the approach for conservation while on the other hand an in-depth disassembly and restoration approach was selected. The decisions were based on the significance of both alterpieces from a traditional art historical approach and on their condition assessment. The custodian community and visitors were very pleased with the results in both cases. While the assessment of the St-Lambert Church altarpiece was very methodological, the intervention itself was opportunistic, funds having been made available to celebrate a national event. The importance of a good and thorough initial feasibility study was stressed by the speaker. Some issues raised by this case study : • The importance of pre-evaluation studies • Determining the level of intervention before any work begins • The use of dendrochronology or other similar advanced techniques that damage the original work of art • The importance of establishing a maintenance and monitoring program 8 Italia – Altare Maggiore de Santa Maria del Giglio, Aprado di Tarcento – Presented by Francesca Tonini The interest of this Case study is the history of the altarpiece’s desctuction in the aftermath of the 1976 earthquake and its reconstitution using the anastylosis approach. This approach had never been used for altarpieces before. After the earthquake, a portion of the building fell on the altarpiece, breaking it into hundreds of pieces. Some of these pieces were removed during cleaning up. What was left was carefully inventoried and studied by the conservators. The anastylosis approach consists in rebuilding the altarpiece by placing the remaining original parts at their original position in a wood frame that is evidently contemporary. This wood frame fills all the voids left by the missing pieces. In this way, the overall artistic aspect of the altarpiece can be recreated and appreciated while the missing parts are distinct from the original ones. The need to balance conservation work requirements with political and social expectations was discussed by the speaker. Some issues raised by this case study : • Anastylosis as a valid approach to conservation of an altarpiece • The importance of enjoyment of the work of art by the public 6 9. Mexico – Estudio del sistema constructivo del Retablo de San Cayetano, La Valenciana, Guanajuato – Presented by Fanny Unikel Santoncini This was a very technical presentation that demonstrated the importance of understanding the construction and assembly techniques of the altarpiece before considering restoration interventions. The importance of dissimenating broadly this technical knowledge was stressed by the speaker. Some issues raised by this case study : • The importance of understanding the construction and assembly techniques of an altarpiece before proposing any conservation work • Sharing technical information with other professionals and the public 10. Brazil – Retablo Mayor de la Capilla de la Matriz de San Antonio, Minas-Gerais – Presented by Adriano Ramos and G. Vania Parreira The request to restore this altarpiece came from the parrish church priest and was supported by the municipal authorities. Still, funds for the restoration were insufficient and the local community came to te rescue. This case study highlighted the point that conservation professionals need to be flexible in the interpretation and application of conservation principles. The steps from theory to practice very often require adjustments to meet the reality of unique circumstances. Some issues raised by this case study : • The relationship between the Church and the conservation professionals • The importance of community participation, including children 11. Perú – Retablo Mayor del Palacio de Gobierno, Lima – Presented by Carmen Fortunata Huanay Herrera Under the technical supervision of the National Cultural Heritage Institution, an ingenious management system was put in place giving full financial responsibility for conservation work to the community. This involved the participation of all levels of government, the Church and private sector contributors. This approach raised questions concerning the relationship between professional conservators and the custodians of the altarpiece. The two don’t always see eye to eye. Some issues raised by this case study : • The negative impact on conservation of art objects such as altarpieces when there is no national budget for cultural heritage • The destruction of artwork for illicit trafic • The importance of raising public awareness to these issues 7 12. Spain – Retablo Mayor La Asunción de Nuestra Señora, Madrid – Presented by Ana Corrassón The conservation work on this altarpiece was successful due mainly to the good collaboration between professionals from various backgrounds and the various stakeholders. But it seems that future work planned for restoration of the church may impact negatively on the conservation work done on the altarpiece and its continued maintenance. Some issues raised by this case study : • The absence of a national register and its impact on determining priorities for interventions • Planning priorities and cutting corners on conservation methodology when national resources are not sufficient • Large altarpieces are actually building components and must be studied in that context • Dissamble or not the altarpiece for treatment? 13. Columbia – Retablo Mayor de la Iglesia de la Concepción, Bogota – Presented by Hector Oswaldo Prieto Gordillo This was a very technical study centered on the work of art because of the lack of archival information. Only one historical picture was found for this polychrome altarpiece, the only one of its kind in Peru. All others are entirely guilded. Some issues raised by this case study : • The direction of craftsmen and artists doing the conservation work • Cleaning issues 14. Portugal – Retablo de la Sacristia del Santuario Nuestra Señora de la Lapa, Sernancelhe – Presented by Agnes Le Gac This Case study raised several key issues such as the need to develop a common methodology for study and intervention on altarpieces. Some issues raised by this case study : • Post restoration interventions that damage the restoration work (i.e. lighting) • The need to develop a common methodology for study and intervention on an altarpiece • Overpainting : remove it or not 8 The Church of San Luis de los Franceses The Church of St. Louis of the French was built between 1699 and 1731. It is the best example of barroque architecture in Seville and one of the most important works of the barroque in all of Europe. Its construction was made possible by a donation from Doña Lucia de Medina to the Company of Jesus with instructions to build a church dedicated to Saint Louis, king of France and to bury her remains there. We were shown this church and altarpieces because they are masterpieces that present challenging and complex conservation issues. They embody a wide range of materials such as different types of wood, stained glass, painted glass, mirrors, guilding, rope, paintings on various materials, brass, silver and other metal inserts, iron nails etc. Understanding the condition of each element and defining the best conservation approach for each part will require many years of work from a dedicated and interdisciplinary team of experts. The church was built on the plans of architect Leonardo de Figueroa. The heavily ornate facade lead to the designation of this type of architecture as altarpiece-facade. It is subdivided into five modules and crowned by a tri-part frontispiece supporting statues of the three archangels, San Rafael, San Miguel and San Gabriel. Several wallpaintings adorn the interior. One from Domingo Martinez was completed in 1743; it is dedicated to the apotheosis of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Company of Jesus. Another, dedicated to San Juan Francisco Regis, is the work of Pedro Duque Cornejo; it depicts a Madona by the famous 17th century paintor Pedro de Mena.. Another one is dedicated to Saint Stanislas of Kostka, completed during 1730 by P. Duque Cornejo. The main figure represents Saint Stanislas holding the Infant Jesus in his arms. The main altarpiece, a work of P. Duque Cornejo was completed in 1730. The main altar holds the most important Spanish collection of relics. This masterpiece contains a sculpture of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, and paintings of the Virgin Mary with Infant Jesus, Saint Louis and Saint Ignatius of Loyola. The altarpiece to the left of the main altarpiece is dedicated to Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Company of Jesus. The sculpture of Saint Ignatius and the bust of the Virgen Mary with the Infant Jesus in her arms are the work of P. Duque Cornejo; the animals, plants and other details are the work of sculptor Juan de Hinestrosa. The following altarpiece to the right of the main altarpiece is dedicated to Saint Francis of Borja, also the work of P. Duque Cornejo. It’s theme is the brevity of life on earth and that through this life one must manage to find eternal salvation. 9 These masterpiece altarpieces are being studied and investigated by the Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Historico. Their restoration will begin shortly after the investigations have been completed and an appropriate methodology is agreed upon by all stakeholders. Workshop conclusions Intense discussion sessions lead the group to agreeing to recognize a common methodolody for intervention on altarpieces. The following points summarize this methodology. Each point considers the fact that the methodology must take into consideration the social aspects, the artifact itself, and the management aspects. For general information, following is my “loose” translation of parts of the document approved at the end of the workshop. An official translation of the conclusions will be prepared shortly. Methodology for intervention of altarpieces : 1. The undertaking of a preliminary visit and report 2. The rationale and justification for the actions proposed in the preliminary report 3. The carrying out of preliminary investigations and studies • Defining the set of problems associated with the altarpiece in its context • Understanding the techniques and construction systems used for its construction • Establishing its significance and the evolution of its cultural value • The diagnostic based on observed pathologies, the causes of alteration that generate them, and full knowledge of the altarpiece’s internal structure • The type of intervention proposed, argued on the basis of the socio-cultural and conservation needs, scientific criteria supported by the scientific community, the completion of preliminary treatment tests that justify the proposed treatments, the proposed technology and the decision making process that everyone will use. • The evaluation of the financial, human and time resources necessary for the execution • The logistics for the implementation (planning, scheduling) and complementary actions (educational workshops, sharing of information etc.) • The systematic, standardized and durable (over a long period of time) documentation 4. The Intervention : It must address the all aspects of the contents specified and detailed in the project document that was approved by everyone. The direction and execution of the project will be done by a team of technical experts specialized in the conservation and restoration of cultural heritage and in conformity with all legal requirements in the particular country or region. Also, the intervention will be done by competent technical workers able to carry out the specified actions. If new information that impacts substantially on the project’s content appears during the process of intervention, it is necessary to justify the modifications on the basis of new studies that will be incorporated into an addendum to the original project documents and officially approved for execution. The process of intervention must be fully explained in a Final Report that records the results of the studies, the actions undertaken, the documentation generated, the sequence of interventions, and a 10 proposed maintenance plan that will be presented in terms of actions necessary for transmission to future genetations. In this way, over time, this report will become a document, a source of knowledge, for future interventions and investigations. This methodology is based on an agreed set of principles. Here are a few examples of the principles outlined in the final document. • All projects must be justified within a conservation philosophy that encompasses a theoritical framework and a code of ethics that is supported by international conventions recognized by the profession • Intervientions on an altarpiece should only occur when it is required, if sufficient financial resources to make the project sustainable and viable have been gathered, when a program of intervention based on knowledge of the property has been developed, if the interventions make use of appropriate technology and call for minimum interventions. • A working committee that includes representatives from all stakeholders should be integrated into the project and it should be empowered to make decisions concerning the project. • Altarpieces should be recognized within their physical context that cannot be dissociated from the building in which they are located and from their social and cultural context. • Altarpieces should be understood and studied in their entirety, not only their aesthetic elements but also the structure that supports them. • The project implementation should be documented in a detailed, rigorous and defensible way. • The importance of inter-disciplinarity should be recognized for all interventions. • Develop a financial strategy that imcorporates a maintenance program and that does not comtemplate interventions that require resources that exceed those available and cannot be maintained over time. • Only use appropriate, proven and reversible materials. • Fully document all interventions in a way that easily understandable Granada The Royal Chapel The workshop participants were invited to visit the Royal Chapel in Granada and were introduced to the marvelous altarpiece, a masterpiece that adorns the Chapel. Participants discussed conservation issues and technical problems. La Capilla Real - The Royal Chapel, is adjacent to the cathedral in Granada. It is the mausoleum of the Catholic Kings Isabel and Ferdinand, who chose to be buried in Granada because they saw its conquest as the crowning achievement of their reign (they had no way of knowing that this would soon prove to be their sponsorship of Columbus' journey). Isabel of Castille was at heart a woman of the Middle Ages, as illustrated by her precious collection of Flemish masters on view in the Sacristy. She wanted a small, humble mausoleum for her and all her descendants, befitting the follower of Saint Francis which she was. But she died before the chapel could be built, and spent some twenty years in a provisional tomb in the Franciscan 11 convent that was built in the Alhambra in the shell of the palace mosque. The architects, out of deference for her importance rather than her dying wishes, made the chapel larger and more luxurious than planned, with the result that it is neither humble nor truly grand; in any case, her successor and grandson Carlos V - the master of the new Empire which she had founded - judged it too unassuming for the masters of a reign on which the sun never set, and the Royal Mausoleum, for all of Spain's subsequent monarchs, was eventually moved to the blockbuster Escorial Monastery outside Madrid, built by his son, Felipe II. The Fundación Rodriguez-Acosta The workshop participants spent several hours discussing management systems and mechanisms in the spectacular property where the Fundación Rodriguez-Acosta is located on the hills overseeing the city of Granada and just next to the famous Alhambra. Those interested in cultural tourism might like to know that the Alhambra currently welcomes more than 8,000 visitors every day. It is almost impossible to visit this site if you simply walk up to the main entrance and try to purchase a ticket. Tickets must be purchased 24 hours in advance to ensure entrance to the site. The Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Historico The Andaluz Institute for Historic Heritage (IAPH) is a scientific institution of the council of Andalucia that reports to the Minister of Culture. The Institute’s objectives are the knowledge, the care and conservation of Andalucia’s historic heritage. Its actions are based on scientific studies, documentation, investigation and the development of scientific and technical solutions. Since its official creation on May 16, 1989, the IAPH has developed educational and scientific programs, publications, and field projects for to the care of historic heritage and in support for the institutions that care for this heritage. 12 As well, the Institute supports the training of professionals in collaboration with private and public sector institutions. It encourages the analysis, the development and the diffucion of methodologies and techniques applicable to the documentation and the interventions on historical heritage. The legislation concerning the historical heritage of Andalucia, adopted on July 3 1991 confirmed the Institute’s role and responsibilities and strenghtened its organizational structure. The Institute’s headquarters and laboratories are located in a historical industrial building rehabilitated in recent years and located on the site of the 1992 Seville World Exhibition. Closing events The workshop concluded with an official dinner held in Hacienda Benazuza located some 20Km from Seville. The history of this magnificent property goes back to the 10th century when it was built by the Arabs. Much later, in the 13th century, Alfonso X, the son of Fernando III took possession of Benazuza. Several noble families subsequently owned the property until in the middle of the 19th century, it was acquired by Pablo Romero who used it to raise bulls. It quickly became one of the most famous bull farms in all of Spain. Benazuza is now transformed into a five-star hotel that welcomes visitors and dignitaries from all over the world. 13