Working on the Cross, May 20, 2016

Altarpiece, May 20 – Working on the cross

Cleo Mullins, the conservator lead, send Catherine a detailed email on the progress on this section. Top photo is Catherine’s picture on Wed. , May 18 and the others from Cleo taken May 19, showing some of the work uncovering the original colors. 

Cleo continues about the work of her assistant… "Beth is cleaning the pinnacles to remove the red layers of paint and what she’s finding is discouraging. If you recall when we were testing the right pinnacle, we were finding the layer of blue that the "gold" stenciling sits upon was darker than the blue of the central panel and appeared to cover deep craters of lost paint. In cleaning the central Christogram panel, we’ve found a similar blue color that is associated with an early restoration. On the pinnacles, Beth has found a paler blue under the darker blue that may be the remnants of the original paint layer, but there has been so much damage to both pinnacles that there appears to be little left that’s original. The gold decoration that we can see is all part of a restoration. It’s possible, though that the restoration copied an original design — as was done on the Christogram."

"I’d say that both the floral decoration on the pinnacles and the "Currier & Ives"-style curliques on the Christogram are Victorian — maybe done circa 1850"

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