Museo de Bellas Artes de Córdoba. printer version

collections: restoration and conservation

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Restoration of "The Birth of St Peter Nolasco¿. Illustrates the Restoration/Conservation section
Restoration of "The Birth of St Peter Nolasco"

José Ignacio Cobo y Guzmán (1666 - 1746)

Nacimiento de San Pedro Nolasco (Birth of St. Peter Nolasco)


Oil on canvas


The work had undergone restoration on two occasions in the past but fresh action was needed because of the shortcomings in the methods used and the still existing damage.

The first restoration consisted of applying a lining during which both sides of the support were mutilated leaving the original painting showing on the margins. Nevertheless, the lining currently remains in good condition with acceptable adhesion and flatness, and has only lifted in the central area.

The deterioration of the pictorial layer was the result of the environmental conditions to which the work was exposed in the cloister of the Convent of La Merced in Córdoba before entering the museum. The variations in humidity and temperature caused stretching and loosening in the support  which carried through to the overlying priming and pictorial layers. The result is marked crackling over a wide area and the later formation of concave crevices in certain areas, giving rise to numerous small losses over the whole surface although it does not present adhesion problems.

Many of these losses were covered by overpainting which spilled over as a result of the first restoration while others were inpainted with pigments with varnish during the last intervention, although the intermediate process of stuccoing beforehand was not carried out.

There were also small stains or discolorations in the shape of splashes or drops probably due to whitewashing in the area around the work because the necessary protective precautions were not taken.

The treatment carried out sought to roughly recover the work's original format by revealing the painting in the side margins hidden by the frame. This basically consisted of the following processes:

  • Maintenance of the lining, removal of the sagging in the lining, and flattening of the edges.
  • Positioning the outside strengthening bands.
  • Assembly on a new larger-format stretcher.
  • Surface cleaning: removal of the varnish applied in 1989 and the dirt and the overpainting not removed during that restoration.
  • Infilling and inpainting of the numerous losses through stippling that can be appreciated close-up.
  • Application of a protective coat with a satin finish.
  • Given the new dimensions of the work, preparation of a gilt flat-moulded frame.

Restorer:  María José Robina Ramírez