Reconstruction of "Madonna and Child" by Giotto di Bondone, c. 1320-30

Nov. 29: New look at Old Masters

University experts to discuss technical aspects of Old Master paintings


11:36 a.m., Nov. 21, 2011--Two University of Delaware experts on the technical materials and techniques of Old Master painters will speak about the use of historically accurate reconstructions of paintings on Tuesday, Nov. 29, from 6:30-7:30 p.m., in 319 Willard Hall Education Building.

The lecture, "Decoding the Masters: The Technical Examination, Conservation and Reconstruction of Old Master Paintings," is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Department of Art Conservation. Art history, art conservation and studio art students and instructors are particularly encouraged to attend.

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Speaking at the event will be Brian Baade, painting conservator, instructor and researcher of historic painting materials and techniques at UD, and Kristin deGhetaldi, painting conservator and a doctoral candidate in the University's Preservation Studies Program. Both speakers are graduates of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation (WUDPAC).

In 2009, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation awarded WUDPAC a grant for Baade to create reconstructions of three Kress paintings in the National Gallery of Art and to teach a class on the subject. Students in the class learned to analyze and identify the materials and techniques the original artists used and to understand the process of creating historical reconstructions of paintings.

"These resulting reconstructions are intended to address and engage a wide variety of audiences, from children to adults, and specifically to enhance the understanding of art historians and other scholars and teachers regarding the working processes, materials and techniques of the Old Masters," according to a Kress Foundation news release about Baade's work.

At the Nov. 29 lecture, Baade and deGhetaldi will explain how such reconstructions can be used to better understand Old Master paintings and will discuss analytical methods and conservation strategies currently used in major museums and other art institutions. The talk will preview some of the subjects that will be included in a spring course at UD, "Decoding the Masters."

Article by Ann Manser

Photos courtesy of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation

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