Conservation of Painted Works of Art

Course Code:

Π1 3060


3rd Semester

Specialization Category:

Required ( ΜΕΥ )

Course Hours:




Course Description

The introductory course in the conservation of paintings focuses on the three main categories of paintings on movable or immovable supports, namely wall paintings, panel paintings (icons) and oil paintings on canvas, and briefly examines the evolution of their technological and morphological characteristics from antiquity to the present day.
The theoretical course focuses on:
– The historical and social context in which the above-mentioned painting techniques flourished,
– the study of the materials and technology of creation, the stratigraphy of the artworks, the identification of traces of tools and technological features, interventions, overpaintings, etc.
– the pathology of paintings, with emphasis on primary damage and the use of the appropriate diagnostic methodology,
– ethics of conservation and restoration,
– preventive conservation and first aid measures, as well as criteria for the selection of conservation methodology.
At the same time, the students are trained on samples, mock-ups and also on paintings, wall paintings, panel paintings and oil paintings on canvas.
The exercises include:
-Familiarization with the materials and techniques of wall paintings, panel paintings and oil paintings on canvas.
– Developing and presenting a methodology for investigating and documenting construction technology and conservation status.
– Examination of stratigraphic sections, identification of technological features, interventions, and paintings.
– Identification and understanding of mechanisms of primary damage
– Development of proposals for preventive conservation and rescue measures.
– Ethics and ethical constraints in decision making for the conservation of paintings.

Expected Learning Outcomes

Students should be able to:

  • Investigate, identify and understand construction techniques and materials of paintings.
  • Identify and document the pathology of paintings.
  • Propose an appropriate methodology for the investigation of techniques and materials.
  • Propose key actions for preventive conservation of painted artworks.
  • The Scope of the Course and Objectives
    After the completion of the course the students will be able to understand, at a first level:
    • the basic knowledge of the techniques and materials of paintings: wall paintings, panel paintings and paintings on canvas,
    • the technological characteristics linked to their state of preservation,
    • the main factors and mechanisms of deterioration,
    • the diagnostic methodology of their state of preservation, and the materials and painting techniques,
    • their pathology, with emphasis on primary and endogenous deterioration,
    • the basic conservation procedures,
    • the elements to be taken into account for the preventive, and interventive conservation and restoration of paintings, their historical and aesthetic status, their values and significance,
    • the legal, and ethical framework for their protection.
    • In addition, students will acquire basic knowledge of the methods of examination and documentation as well as the necessary skills for handling paintings.

    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: Written exams (50%)
    LAB PRACTICES (50%):
     Questionnaire (5%)
     Written essay (15%)
     Presentation (15%)
     Technical report (15%)
    Assessment criteria are reported orally in the face-to-face course and in writing in the e-class of the course.

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    -Related scientific journals:
    -Studies in Conservation
    -Reviews in Conservation
    -Journal of Architectural Conservation
    -Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) Newsletter
    -Journal of Cultural Heritage