The conservation and restoration of paintings, sculptures and handicraft works from the collections of the Museum of King Jan III's Palace in Wilanów
As part of the "The revitalisation and digitalisation of Wilanów, the only Baroque royal residence in Poland" project we carried out conservation, restoration and research work on a set of artworks, which required immediate conservation interventions. This group included i.a. five 18th and 19th-century portraits on canvas, six 18th/19th-century Chinese graphics with representations of standing women, oriental caskets and a censer decorated with lacquer, two English longcase clocks in polychrome housing, two 19th-century armchairs with cordovan upholstery, a fireplace screen (ca. 1735), two crystal chandeliers, mail and plate armours (15th and 17th centuries), oriental everyday items made from embroidered silk, including a tobacco pouch and a glasses case, a gilded table and console tables, a set of ceramic antique dishes from the collection of Stanisław Kostka Potocki, and oriental porcelain plates (18th century). Some of these have been stored in a warehouse and are unavailable for visitors.
The works covered a full range of conservation interventions, preventive measures and examinations of movable items and parts of interior decor. Technological analyses, technique assessments and examinations of paint coats and materials used for monument making, as carried out by conservators and specialists in scientific labs, broadened our knowledge of the Museum’s collections. The works involving the uncovering of the wall decorations by Józef Rossi in the room above the chapel allowed us to present newly discovered paintings to the public. With layers of dust and colour coats removed and defects repaired, the statues of Hercules from 1732 in the niches of the South Gallery were restored to their proper shape. Following the preventive conservation of its pedestals, park sculptures on the Lower Terrace of the Eastern Garden were properly secured and reinforced for better stabilisation.
These conservation and restoration works resulted in the improved condition and aesthetic appeal of the monuments, which allows us to present them to a wider audience. Painting, sculpture and handicraft works will be taken from warehouses to join the exhibits in the Palace’s interiors, thus becoming part of the presented history associated with the times of King Jan III and his artists, the reign of Augustus II the Strong and the collection of Stanisław Kostka Potocki and his family. Other items will be presented to our guests in warehouse art galleries that we intend to open soon. This innovative project, designed to fill our empty spaces with works of art in good condition, will constitute an interesting part of the Palace Museum in Wilanów’s portfolio.
The conservation and restoration of paintings, sculptures and handicraft works from the collections of the Museum of King Jan III's Palace in Wilanów were conducted as a part of the “The revitalisation and digitalisation of Wilanów, the only Baroque royal residence in Poland” project. The Project had secured support from the European Regional Development Fund under the Infrastructure and Environment 2007-2013 Operational Programme, Priority XI “Culture and Cultural Heritage”, Activity 11.1. Protecting and maintaining cultural heritage of over-regional importance. In accordance with the adopted Project Implementation Scheme, the investment was completed by 30 September 2015. The total value of the Project: PLN 18 854 348,06. The amount of additional financing: PLN 14 912 881,37 (European Regional Development Fund: PLN 12 675 949,15, and State Budget: PLN 2 236 932,22). For more information on the Infrastructure and Environment Operational Programme please visit www.pois.gov.pl. For more information about the project please click on this link.
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