Conservation of Paintings on Canvas (B)

Course Code:

Π1 7010Β


7th Semester

Specialization Category:


Course Hours:




Course Description

Course Theory

The theoretical part of the course deals with the historical context of conservation and gradual shift of interest to the preservation of historical and aesthetic status of art work, wile a short historical reference to the conservation treatments in Greece is attempt. At the same time, the course outline the four contemplated painting periods of Greek secular painting in relation to the morphological changes and stylistic treatments, reflecting the effects and artistic tendencies, as well as the gradual evolution of Greek art in general. The detailed description of the structure of painted art on textile support, composition and properties of materials, as well as the stylistic applications, is associated with the pathology on the basis of endogenous and exogenous factors of deterioration with references to specific works of Greek artists. The basic techniques of rescue operations, as indicative of protection and consolidation of the painting surface, fine strain, local reinforcement or lining of the damaged textile supports etc. are described, while the lining methods and procedures are developed with different materials and techniques. The issue of cleaning the painted surface of the artworks on canvas support employs the following theoretical courses, since it is related with the construction materials and application techniques, the purpose of the artists and function of the artwork. Topics of removal of deposits, total or partial removal of oxidized varnishes and posterior over-paintings constitute the subject of theoretical and laboratory exercises. In the last part of the course the procedures of filling the priming layer, retouching, varnishing, maintenance of the frame and exhibition issues are developed in detail.

Course Practicals

Laboratory exercises are conducted primarily on samples or paintings of low historical and aesthetic value, so the student can become familiar with the subject, gradually developing critical thinking and planning required to deal with cases. Then cases of damage and deterioration are affronted on original artworks, thus the student can acquire the appropriate knowledge on the issues raised in the theoretical part of the course. At the end of their working project each group of students presents a printed and digital condition and conservation report of the object, specifying and documenting all procedures and materials used.


Students should be able:

To understand the work of art as an integral part of the historical and social background.

To make the diagnosis of pathology, the causes of damage and deterioration and to develop an informed and effective proposal for their conservation.

 To select appropriate materials for each case and apply the appropriate conservation interventions in terms of preservation of the historical and aesthetic status of the artwork.

The Scope of the Course and Objectives

 The Scope of the Course

The course aims to connect the subject within the historical and artistic context, the practical and scientific procedures governing the conservation of works of art, to familiarize students with the process of diagnosis of pathology, to develop the knowledge and critical thinking of dealing with cases and skills on basic practical applications of conservation and restoration of easel works.

Course objectives

To equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills related to the understanding and interpreting painted artworks as part of an historical course, evaluating the factors of alterations and organize the proper conservation and restoration procedures.

Language of evaluation: Greek (English for Erasmus students).

The student’s final grade results from 50% of the grade of the theoretical part and 50% of the grade of laboratory practice.

Students’ evaluation (100%):
THEORY (50%):
Written exams:
• Open-ended questions
• Multiple-choice questionnaires
• Short-answer questions

LAB PRACTICES (50%): Individual essay writing on a selected subject at the beginning of the semester
Guidelines are discussed on the first lesson and uploaded on e-class.

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4. Horie C.V. 2012. Setting the scene: considerations and decision making for planning and undertaking treatments. In Barros D’Sa A., Bone L., Clarricoates R., Gent A. (eds) Adhesives and Consolidants in Painting Conservation. London: Archetype Pub., pp.1-6.
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