It is concluded the restoration of the ceiling in the Oratorio di Santa Margherita di Antiochia in Padua. The students have performed the restoration led by the restorer Giovanna Pellizzari during the summer internship for Technician for conservation of Cultural Heritage for the academic year 2011.
The project was made possible thanks to the Ca Ri. Pa. Ro.
The Oratorio will be reopened to the public as soon as possible by the volunteers of the Lega Ambiente.
The Oratory was already built at the end of the twelfth century, when it was incorporated to the properties Abbazia di S. Cipriano of Murano (Ve). In the first half of the eighteenth century the Grandenigo financed the radical renewal of the Oratory, giving it its current appearance. Closed in 1808, in the Napoleonic suppressions period, was restored and reopened for worship in 1852. The Oratorio di Santa Margherita, today, depends on the parish of San Francesco.
In the middle of principal vault, in the nave, a lively fresco rappresents the Apotheosis of Santa Margherita attributed, for the color’s use and the composition scheme, to Giorgio Anselmi (1722-1797) from Verone. It is a fairly large fresco inserted within a first golden frame, followed by a larger painted wooden frame.
In the right side, there are yellowish damp stains likely caused by infiltration.
The central fresco is also in a critical state of preservation. They are many evident repainted areas and a general “patina” caused by dust deposits. With a quick look to the ceiling, we observe a lot of cracks following a geometric shape. These cracks are concentrated in the middle part, while the lateral zones have a better state of conservation.
Two large gaps, probably the result of a safety intervention of the ceiling, are located in the middle part of the paint. Such missing parts have a bad aesthetic filling and painted retouchesand probably hide two “patere”.
Through a visual examination of the frame, latter has a non-uniform surface characterized by numerous cracks. Also visible are the nails hooking the structure.
The frame, on which sits the whole vault, presents rainwater infiltrations that has led detachments and falling materials.
As a first step, the restorer responsible and the students confirmed the good structural status of the ceiling and the fresco painting. Then, they passed to the cleaning phase performed, in a first moment, with soft brushes and vacuum cleaners. In a second step, they cleaned with deionized water and sponges followed by the solvents celaning. The improper fillings such as nails and clamps anchor were removed to be replaced. Students have consolidated different detached layers of the plaster before retouching with watercolor.
About to the wooden frame, they proceeded with a preventive treatment to protect the gold leaf and an anti-rust treatment of the nails. Then, they passed to the consolidation, to the cleaning, the woodworm treatment and the final protective coating.
The intervention on the frame of the vault began by the dry cleaning with soft brushes, then the consolidation, the safety of the falling parts, cleaning with water and sponges, filling the cracks and possible consolidation of micro detachments and retouching painting.