This is one of the most interesting coffered ceilings from the 16th century. It must have been produced before 1539, the year in which Empress Isabella, wife of Charles V, died. It consists of nine beams in which there are two swords at the outer ends and a gilded heart in the centre enclosed by the inscriptions: EL CORAZON MANDA y EL CORAZON ME FECIT (THE HEART COMMANDS and THE HEART MADE ME. This is the motto of the Granada Venegas family. The ceiling has 18 footings or corbels, culminating in the heads of famous figures, 32 bas-reliefs of kings and noblemen who fought in the war to reconquer Granada, along with others figures from the history of Spain spanning the Roman era up to the time of Emperor Charles V. These bas-reliefs with inscriptions of their accomplishments make up this varied sculptural and literary group. The coffered ceiling is in gilded and polychromed wood.
A preliminary study has been carried out with a view to subsequent repair, identifying the most important factors causing deterioration, the risk factors, the defects present and the construction material and techniques. The purpose of the study was to formulate a plan of action and specific measures.
The treatments proposed for the ceiling are as follows:
- Cleaning the surface of dust, solid residue and any other environmental deposits using vacuum cleaners and soft brushes. - Treating the wood for insect infestations, where appropriate, as a remedial and preventive measure by injecting a suitable biocide to protect the polychromy. - Consolidating the wooden support in the weakened areas by applying a polyvinyl resin, injecting APV and soaking the surfaces, using heat and pressure in the most resistant areas. - Treating the cracks and fissures in the support. - Filling the cavities with a similar type of wood. - Providing preliminary protection of the polychromy in areas at risk of becoming detached. - Priming and consolidating the ground layers and colour via adhesion and fixing the different strata in some of the corbel reliefs. - Cleaning and removing the repainted gilt work using mechanical and physical means. - Plastering the cracks and fissures - Restoring the cracks and fissures in ground layer with a plaster similar to the original. - Infilling the paintwork with untextured, smooth flat inks. - Final protection.
Preliminary intervention: María José Gálvez and Inés Osuna Report and coordination: Carmen Tienza
The Casa de los Tiros building dates back to the 16th century and is a fine example of domestic architecture in Renaissance Granada. It comprises three floors, a main courtyard, a small secondary courtyard, a garden and a magnificent tower which both protects and hides the rest of the building. At the base of the tower is the entrance hall; its panelled ceiling is the subject of this restoration. We owe the construction of this outstanding work to Gil Vázquez Rengifo, a military commander under the Catholic Monarchs.
Cleaning and preliminary study for the conservation-restoration project of the Museum's entrance hall ceiling.
Visual inspection and direct observation were carried out to ascertain the state of disrepair and the factors affecting it. There is widespread warping, loss of support and polychromy, and dirt.
The inspection was the preliminary step in the overall project to repair the panelled ceiling.