WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE ART OF RESTORATION?

WHAT IS A RESTORATION?

Are we sure we know everything about the world of restoration? As well as artistic techniques, the art of restoration has its own history and development over the centuries, up to the present day when it becomes a real craft. Restoration means that activity linked to the maintenance, recovery, restoration and conservation of works of art, cultural heritage, monuments and in general of historical artifacts, to which a particular value is recognized. The restorer, therefore, not only has the task of intervening on the artifacts now compromised or damaged, but also deals with their conservation over time. Restoration is – as Cesare Brandi states in his Theory of Restoration – the methodological moment of recognition of the work of art, in its physical consistency and in its dual aesthetic and historical polarity, in view of transmission to the future.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RESTORATION AND REPAIR?

In the restoration, everything revolves around value: both the intrinsic characteristics of the object, and the cultural structure of the person that compares with it are fundamental. The recognition of the value of each object is, therefore, preparatory to the activity of restoration. The one who “brings back to life” a valuable artifact can be defined, therefore, restorer.

 WHO IS THE RESTORER?

The work of the restorer is divided into several phases: first, he must make a very accurate assessment of the conditions of the work, that is, analyze the deterioration, assess the extent to which it is possible to intervene without risking further damage to the work, to discover the history of the work, in terms of restorations previously undergone, so as to be able to plan the methods of intervention and explore the different possibilities. It is a profession in which passion is one of the fundamental engines, precisely because it is to do with an extremely delicate work and with a strong individual component. The passion is obviously accompanied by an excellent dexterity and an artistic sense above the average, personal arrangements that can be refined in the studies.

Choosing not to rely on competent people can involve several risks: the loss of the value of the work (and not the increase), the risk of ruining the work or, in the worst case, to do them badly, being these operations very delicate.

WHERE CAN WORKS OF ART AND ARTIFACTS BE RESTORED?

The reference point for restoring works of art or artifacts are the restoration workshops. It is not important the size of the space, but that there are all the necessary equipment that, together with the experience of the restorer, will contribute to the “rebirth” of the work.

Zanini Arte was founded in 1914, initially as a restoration laboratory. Crossing the threshold of one hundred years since its foundation and classifying itself as the oldest handicraft workshop of San Benedetto Po, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy and Jewel Town of Italy 2012. The workshop of Zanini Arte, as well as for private clients, follows institutional commissions, such as the restoration of the portal of the Basilica del Polirone, an excellence in the history of local art of the Renaissance, which sees the hand of Giulio Romano.

After more than a hundred years the laboratory continues uninterruptedly its activity, handed down from father to son, with the advice and restoration for the maintenance and conservation of works of art: furniture, sculpture, canvas and antique tables.

Zanini Arte