With regard to the specific work done during the training year 2006-2007 by students of the course for ‘Colabborator-Restorere of Cultural Heritage ‘(Code 046 Intervention Type FS / QAN, approved by Decree n. 911 of 15 December 2005) it has planned and carried out the conservation work of twelve lunettes in the Cloister of the Church of San Francesco in Padua, six of them on the north-east and another six on the south-west .
The wall paintings cycle is datable to the XVII century, there is unfortunately no documents to indicate precisely the authorship. Several scholars have attempted to name the author of the paintings and some of them, is to Pier Antonio Towers, seen in this cycle, a Bolognese artist painter of no great value and commitment (Cease Francis 1975). Others speculate it is the work of Bernardino and / or Bernardo said Muttone respectively the ‘old’ and the ‘young’ as father and son.
The seventeenth-century cycle of paintings illustrating in sequence the life and miracles of St. Anthony of Padua is divided into lunettes.
Regarding the artistic technique, the width of the spaces suggests that the absence of divisions in ‘days’ implies at least a half-fresco realization, or the drafting of related pigments in waterlime on dry plaster.
The paintings showed, at the begining, a homogeneity in the conservation status except to the sixth that was to be so deteriorate as to be defined ‘lacerto’ (pieces of …).
The analysis of ion chromatography (IC), has revealed the presence of sulphates salts both on the surface and in the plaster. The presence within the matrice of the plaster of these salts had created the so-called effect ‘pitting’ on the surface. This process was helped by the presence of a protein layer on the surface, probably spread over in a previous restoration intervention to fix the paint film (perhaps 70s) that was also detected by laboratory analysis.
The cohesion between the layers of plaster and the the wall structure was partially satisfactory.
Also derived from previous interventions were the fillings of the gaps fortunately excecuted with a good lime composed plaster.
The frescoes were first subjected to a light mechanical cleaning performed with soft brushes and Wishab sponges. This trivial operation has also allowed to see the cohesion of the paint film, which was sufficient to proceed further without the action of a preliminare consolidation.
The chemical cleaning phase has been made by compresses, with supporting pulp cellulose, of ammonium carbonate saturated for an extended periods. The residues of the protein layer, mentionned above, combined to the use of ammonium carbonate had caused a whitening surface that have been removed with the use of a surfactant.
Then we moved to the deep consolidation phase to overcome the detachments of the plaster’s layers constituting the structur, by injections of specialized liquid mortar.