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Retracing the restoration history of Viennese paintings in the Musée Napoléon (1809-1815)

Natalia Gustavson

Abstracts

In 1809, a multitude of paintings belonging to the Austrian imperial collection was seized in Belvedere Palace in Vienna and brought to the Parisian Musée Napoléon. Those artworks have mainly been returned in 1815. Up to now, it remained unclear to what extent these paintings had been subjected to restoration treatments while in France. The following paper addresses the French treatment of a group of paintings today belonging to the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.  

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I owe thanks to Sabine Pénot, Elke Oberthaler, Alice Hoppe-Harnoncourt, Ina Slama, Martina Grießer, Vaclav Pitthard, Marta Anghelone, Sabine Stanek, Noémie Etienne and Elisabeth Fischer for their support concerning this work.

  • 1  See Treue, W., Kunstraub. Über die Schicksale von Kunstwerken in Krieg, Revolution und Frieden, Dü (...)
  • 2  As selection:Mackay Quynn, D., “The art confiscations of the Napoleonic wars”, The American Histor (...)
  • 3  Savoy, B., 2003, op. cit., vol. 1, p. 120.

1The plundering and confiscation of art through military action has, unfortunately, a very long history1. In opposition to earlier episodes of art sequestration, the seizure of artworks throughout Europe in the late 18th and at the beginning of 19th century is not only well-documented but also reveals a large degree of planning and the clear intent to further utilize the works by displaying the enormous diversity of entire Europe´s cultural richness in Paris, victorious under Napoleon2. From 1794 to 1815, cultural holdings from European territories occupied by French troops were thus seized and brought to Paris, mainly to augment the collection of the Musée central des arts created in the Louvre Palace in 1793 and renamed Musée Napoléon in 18043.

  • 4  Namely to the cities and fortresses of Peterwardein, Großwardein and Temesvar, at that time belong (...)

2Confronted with the military threat and alerted by previous plundering of artworks by Napoleon´s art commissioners, many European collections took care to evacuate their important holdings out of the danger zone prior to the arrival of the French army. As Napoleon entered Vienna in May 1809, the centerpieces of the Austrian imperial painting gallery – then installed in the Belvedere Palace in Vienna – had precautiously been removed and sent abroad for safe keeping4.

  • 5  Österreichisches Staatsarchiv (OeStA), Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv (HHStA), OKäA, 102 B, Nr. 248/ (...)
  • 6  Füger was able to save 86 pieces more than Johann Tusch(1738-1817), first curator of the gallery a (...)
  • 7  OeSta, HHStA, OKäA, Nr. 412/1810 (H. Füger to high chamberlain, 13.02.1810).

3For our understanding of the valuation of artworks at that time, it is revelatory to compare which objects were singled out for evacuation and which were potentially sacrificed by leaving them behind. It is not surprising that in 1809 Heinrich Füger (1751-1818), director of the Viennese painting gallery, declared that the majority of the most precious holdings had been salvaged, the remaining pieces regarded as less important5. Füger was able to save 625 paintings in 54 crates, which corresponded to approximately fifty percent of the exhibited works6.  The importance of this task can also be illustrated by the amount of money spent for the packing of the paintings – in total 1.791,20 Florin (fl.), an enormous sum compared to the usually available 500 fl. per year for the maintenance of the whole collection of paintings7.

  • 8  OeStA, HHStA, Frankreich Varia, I 89/11, Wien C, p. 2-9. One of these crates contained large-sized (...)
  • 9  As suggested by a drawing of Benjamin Zix (1772-1811) and Constant Bourgeois (1767-1841), showing (...)
  • 10 See Dupuy-Vachey, M.-A., Le Masne Chermont, I., et al., Vivant Denon, directeur des musées sous le (...)

4Despite these measures of evacuation, Dominique-Vivant Denon (1747-1825), director of the Parisian Musée Napoléon, was able to seize about 404 paintings from the Viennese painting gallery in summer 1809 – including four crates with 56 paintings that Füger couldn´t evacuate on time from Belvedere Palace8.The artworks chosen by Denon were likewise packed in wooden crates – unframed, smaller paintings stacked one on top of the other, large-sized canvasses rolled 9 – and sent to Paris. The 63 crates containing the seized Viennese artworks arrived in Paris at the end of October, after a three and a half month carriage-journey across Europe10.

  • 11  The newly created provincial museums located in Caen, Dijon, Lyon, Toulouse, Grenoble, Brussels as (...)
  • 12  Joseph Rosa junior (1760-1822), second curator of the painting gallery in Belvedere palace, had be (...)

5Whereas a part of the works confiscated in Vienna was to be integrated into the Parisian collection, about 51 paintings were later on sent to cities on French territory, or displayed in several churches of the capital11. After Napoleon´s final defeat began the tedious process to bring back the spoliated objects to their previous sites. The bigger part of the Viennese artworks was restituted in September 1815. However, 41 works having been sent to French provincial museums and Parisian churches were not returned12.

6Interestingly, the forced cultural transfer in Europe throughout the 19th century led to a new sense of responsibility regarding cultural heritage. The merging of masterworks in Paris did not only cause a significant upturn for art history and the fine arts, but also for the discipline of restoration. For the Parisian experts, the main consequence of this forced art transfer consisted in the challenge of reconditioning and restoring a tremendous amount of artworks that had been damaged by the transport and to do this in a very short period of time.

Conservation and restoration treatments in France (1809-1815)

7Although the investigation of restoration history is generally difficult due to rarely available information about earlier interventions, in the case of the Musée Napoléon exists quite a substantial amount of archival material regarding conservation and restoration of artworks in the 19th century – mostly in form of work reports (mémoires), penned by the restorers, conserved today in the Archives Nationalesand the Archives des Musées Nationaux in Paris.

  • 13  See Pénot, S., 2009, op. cit., p. 117.

8Owing to the preliminary identification of a large part of the Viennese paintings spoliated in 1809 – a work recently carried out by Sabine Pénot, Curator for Dutch Paintings at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna (KHM)13 – it was possible to confront the screened archival documents regarding treatments done in Paris with the results of the direct examination of paintings being part today of the KHM collection. Thanks to this approach it was possible to retrace the so far unclear restoration history for some of the Viennese works located in France from 1809 to 1815. Several of the paintings were treated very shortly after their arrival to Paris. It is very likely that most of the sequestered artworks showed more or less severe damages due to their long transportation and probably inappropriate climatic and storage conditions. Since the pieces meant to be displayed or sent to provincial museums had to be in presentable and good condition, they were subjected to conservation and restoration treatments by the restorers of the Musée Napoléon.

  • 14  Lining: Old canvas paintings have been adhered to a secondary canvas support to strengthen (and fl (...)
  • 15 Transposition: The transfer of the entire paint layer from one support to another was performed whe (...)
  • 16  Cradling: Since the 18th century, the cradling of wooden panels consisted in reducing the bulk of (...)
  • 17  See also: Gustavson, N., “Restaurierung zwischen Krieg und Frieden. Napoleon in Österreich und die (...)

9In Paris like in Vienna at that time, the treatment of paintings was separated into the structural conservation of the support and the restoration of the surface – unlike tasks that were very often assigned to two different persons. In the French Musée, the work was repeatedly divided between a so-called rentoileur, highly-specialised in delicate works concerning the conservation of the paintings support, and a restorer (or painter) treating the surface. Due to the risk and technical difficulty in the execution of conservation operations like linings14, transpositions15 or cradlings16, the work of the rentoileur was much higher esteemed and remunerated than the interventions of a restorer who mostly did clean, retouch and varnish the paintings. The following case studies do illustrate different conservation and restoration measures carried out by four of the French restorers employed in the Musée Napoléon who treated the Viennese paintings during their sojourn in Paris17.

Case studies

  • 18  AN, O² 839, mémoire F.-T. Hacquin, 4th trimester 1809.
  • 19  AN, O² 836, mémoire J.-M. Hooghstoel, 3rd trimester 1810. – AN, O² 839, mémoire J.-M. Hooghstoel 4(...)

10The two large-sized pendants by Bonifazio de´ Pitati, painted on canvas, had very likely been rolled for transportation. The paintings were treated in a similar way shortly after their arrival in Paris. In his work record from the fourth trimester 1809, François-Toussaint Hacquin (1756-1832) specifies that he lined both works, providing also the stretchers and the necessary canvas18. Later, during the third and fourth trimester 1810 Jean-Marie Hooghstoel (1765 - about 1831) continued the restoration of the two pendants19.

  • 20  Concerning irregularities weave and thread count. The material of the canvas – whether linen or he (...)
  • 21  Often through the use of heat and pressure during the lining process, the seams of the original an (...)
  • 22  The lining medium consists in a mixture of starch and animal glue, probably with little additions (...)

11The direct examination of the paintings confirmed that they had been treated in a very similar way and do conserve the still functional structural conservation from 1809. In both cases, the lining canvas has the same appearance20 and consists of three parts joined at the selvedges. The seams located in the middle of the format were joined with about 1 cm of seam allowance that had been regularly incised to prevent markings through the original canvas21. Both linings were executed without any interlayer using a probably rather liquid lining medium that partially penetrated the interstices of the single lining canvas, drying in small drops on the verso22. The backside of the canvas was left without any protective layer.

Fig. 1 Bonifazio de’ Pitati, The Triumph of Love

Fig. 1 Bonifazio de’ Pitati, The Triumph of Love

© Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Fig. 2 Detail of the verso

Fig. 2 Detail of the verso

Incisions in the seam allowance

Photograph by the author

Fig. 3 Bonifazio de’ Pitati, The Triumph of Chastity, about 1530/1540

Fig. 3 Bonifazio de’ Pitati, The Triumph of Chastity, about 1530/1540

Oil on canvas, 148 x 241 cm, Inv.Nr. KHM GG_1521

© Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Fig. 4 Detail of the verso

Fig. 4 Detail of the verso

 Penetrated lining medium

Photograph by the author

  • 23  AN, O² 839, mémoire J. Fouque, 4th trimester 1809. Compare Jamois, T., “Les ateliers de restaurati (...)
  • 24  AN, O² 839, mémoire P. Carlier, 3rd trimester 1810.

12Another viennese piece treated shortly after its arrival to Paris is the portrait of Pope Paul III, attributed to Titian and his workshop. In his work report from the fourth trimester 1809, the rentoileur named Joseph Fouque (1755-1819), a pupil of F.-T. Hacquin, stated that he lined the painting and applied a layer of paint on the verso23. More than half a year later, during the third trimester 1810, the restorer Pierre Carlier (†1818) proceeded to the treatment of the paint layer24.

  • 25  This paint doesn´t lie on parts of the lining canvas covered by the stretcher. – Analyses executed (...)
  • 26  J. Fouque probably adopted and refined this method from F.-T. Hacquin. Compare AMN, P16, 17.05.179 (...)

13Today, the artwork still maintains the French lining and stretcher. On the verso of the lining canvas can be found a lead-white, chalk and probably walnut-oil containing layer that had been applied after the stretching of the canvas, the stretcher also showing some marks of the paint25. This layer, often mentioned by Fouque in his reports, had a protective function against humidity26.

Fig. 5 Titian, Pope Paul III Farnese, after 1546

Fig. 5 Titian, Pope Paul III Farnese, after 1546

Oil on canvas, 89 x 78 cm, Inv.Nr. KHM GG_99

© Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Fig. 6 Verso

Fig. 6 Verso

Lining canvas with protective layer

Photograph by the author

  • 27  AN, O² 835, mémoire J. Fouque, 2nd trimester 1810.
  • 28  AN, O² 835, mémoire P. Carlier, 2nd trimester 1810. – AN, O² 836, mémoire P. Carlier, 3rd trimeste (...)

14Several other Viennese works show this specific type of protective layer on the back of the lining canvas – pointing to a French treatment during the 19th century. The screening of the restoration reports conserved in Paris confirmed that a painting by Romanelli, Jephta and his daughter, had been treated in 1810 the same way as the previous work, again by J. Fouque27 and P. Carlier28.

  • 29  Restoration carried out by Ina Slama.

15The French lining and paint layer on the back were kept in place since that time. In addition, during recent restoration, were found rests of paper (printed in French), which were glued to the borders of the painting29. This paper could have been applied during the lining process, to fix the painting to a table, or later, to border the canvas for esthetical or preventive reasons.   

Fig.7 Giovanni Francesco Romanelli, Jephta and his daughter, 17th century

Fig.7 Giovanni Francesco Romanelli, Jephta and his daughter, 17th century

Oil on canvas, 205 x 216 cm, Inv. Nr. KHM GG_1562

© Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Fig. 8 Detail

Fig. 8 Detail

Detail of the border

Photograph by Ina Slama

  • 30  Fouque also provided the two new stretchers, see note 27.

16However the Parisian treatments executed on canvas paintings deriving from the Viennese collection were not necessarily constrained to linings. Two pendant paintings by Crespi were also treated in 1810 by J. Fouque and later on by P. Carlier. But the archival documents reveal that in both cases Fouque adopted a combination of two conservation methods: he removed the paint layer from the original canvas, transposing it to a new textile support which he subsequently lined30.

  • 31  Interestingly, neither the use of the protective paint layer nor the paper borders were specified (...)

17The painting showing the Kentaur Chiron and Achilles was subjected to another lining in Vienna, occuring in 1952. For that reason, the previous French lining is now lost. In return, the 19th century stretcher was adapted and preserved, again showing rests of the same lead-white containing oil paint as encountered in the former examples. The pendant painting, Aeneas, Sibyl and Charon, still conserves the lining as well as the paint layer on the verso with rests on the stretcher, dating from 1810, and even shows residues of French printed paper on the borders, as encountered on Romanelli´s work, all dating from 181031.

Fig. 9 Giuseppe Maria Crespi, The Kentaur Chiron and Achilles, about 1695/1697

Fig. 9 Giuseppe Maria Crespi, The Kentaur Chiron and Achilles, about 1695/1697

Oil on canvas, 123 x 124,9 cm, Inv. Nr. KHM GG_270

© Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Fig. 10 Giuseppe Maria Crespi, Aeneas, Sibyl and Charon, about 1695/1697

Fig. 10 Giuseppe Maria Crespi, Aeneas, Sibyl and Charon, about 1695/1697

Oil on canvas, 129 x 127 cm, Inv. Nr. KHM GG_306

© Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

  • 32  This is probably linked to the fact that the panel paintings sent to Paris were mostly smaller for (...)

18Since most of the Viennese works treated in France were painted on canvas32, the adopted methods of conservation were actually largely restrained to this medium. There are however cases of panel paintings which have been conserved and restored in Paris during that time. The Inner view of the Burgplatz in Vienna by Van Hoogstraten is one of the rare Viennese examples still conserving a French 19th century cradling.

  • 33  AN, O² 836, mémoire F.-T. Hacquin, 2nd trimester 1813.
  • 34  AN, O² 836, mémoire J.-M. Hooghstoel, 2nd trimester 1813.

19In his mémoire of the second trimester 1813, F.-T. Hacquin reports that he re-joined the wooden plates and applied a cradle on the back, composed of eight strips glued in the direction of the wood-grain and seven cross bars33. Shortly after this intervention, Hooghstoel treated the surface of the painting34.While many panel paintings were subjected to cradling in the Viennese gallery later in the 19th century, the already cradled Van Hoogstraten, was spared from this sort of treatment. Interestingly, the examination of the panel confirmed the use of only six cross barsinstead of the seven mentioned by F.-T. Hacquin – one example of the sometimes slightly inaccurate work descriptions in the mémoires.

Fig. 11 Samuel Van Hoogstraten, Inner view of the Burgplatz in Vienna, 1652

Fig. 11 Samuel Van Hoogstraten, Inner view of the Burgplatz in Vienna, 1652

Oil on wood, 79 x 84,5 cm, Inv. Nr. KHM GG_1752, Recto

© Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien

Fig. 12 Samuel Van Hoogstraten, Inner view of the Burgplatz in Vienna, 1652

Fig. 12 Samuel Van Hoogstraten, Inner view of the Burgplatz in Vienna, 1652

Oil on wood, 79 x 84,5 cm, Inv. Nr. KHM GG_1752, Verso

© Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien

20The discussed examples do underline the importance of combining archival research with direct examinations of the paintings to get an accurate overview of the historical treatments that the works have been subjected to. For our understanding of the nowadays condition of paintings that were seized in Vienna in 1809, the screening of the French restoration records is therefore vital and must be continued.

21Undoubtedly the methods and practices of conservation and restoration used, adopted and developed in Europe throughout the 19th century must have been highly influenced by the work of Parisian experts – treatments that were eventually directly linked with the transfer of artworks under Napoleon. But despite differences in execution and adopted materials, it can be pointed out that the techniques of conservation and restoration employed in Paris did not substantially differ from those that were possible in Vienna at that time.

  • 35  Most of the panels brought to Paris were probably smaller formats and needed therefore only scarce (...)
  • 36 Oberthaler, E., Tafelbildbehandlungen im Kunsthistorischen Museum Wien”, Restauratorenblätter, (...)

22Regarding treatments of the painting support, linings were for instance common practice in Paris like in Vienna. However, during the 19th century, transpositions were only very rarely adopted in the Viennese collection, in opposition to their rather frequent execution in the Musée Napoléon. In addition, the evaluation of the archival documents has shown that up to 1815, the Parisian restorers did scarcely apply cradlings on wooden supports35, which stands in strong contrast to the Viennese restoration policy, mainly after 1826 under director Joseph Rebell (1787-1828)36. Finally, the evaluation of painting treatments in Vienna after 1815 should take into account the historical circumstances to help understanding if and to what extent a cultural transfer might have taken place in the discipline of conservation and restoration.

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Bibliography

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Notes

1  See Treue, W., Kunstraub. Über die Schicksale von Kunstwerken in Krieg, Revolution und Frieden, Düsseldorf, Droste, 1957; Pars, H., Noch leuchten die Bilder. Schicksale von Meisterwerken der Kunst, Stuttgart, Europäischer Buchklub, 1964; Demandt, A., Vandalismus. Gewalt gegen Kultur, Berlin, Siedler, 1997; Strocka, V. M., (ed.), Kunstraub – ein Siegerrecht? Historische Fälle und juristische Einwände, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Berlin, Arenhövel, 1999.

2  As selection:Mackay Quynn, D., “The art confiscations of the Napoleonic wars”, The American Historical Review, n° 3, 1945, p. 437–460; Taylor, F. H., The Taste of Angels. A History of Collecting from Rameses to Napoleon, Boston, Little, Brown and Company, 1948; Vogt, H., Die Kunstbeschlagnahmungen im Zeitalter Napoleons und ihre Folgen. Dissertation, Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, 1956 ; Boyer, F., “ Les Responsabilités de Napoléon dans le transfert à Paris des oeuvres d´art de l´étranger ”, Revue d´histoire moderne et contemporaine, 1964, p. 241–262 ; Gould, C., Trophy of Conquest. The Musée Napoléon and the Creation of the Louvre, London, Faber & Faber, 1965 ;Wescher, P., Kunstraub unter Napoleon, Berlin, Gebr. Mann, 2nd ed., 1978 ; Savoy, B., Patrimoine annexé. Les biens culturels saisis par la France en Allemagne autour de 1800, 2 vol., Passages, vol. 5, Paris, Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, 2003 ; Dohna, Y., (ed.), Der Kunstraub Napoleons. Die Forschungen des Kunsthistorikers Ernst Steinmann zum Napoleonischen Kunstraub zwischen Kulturgeschichtsschreibung, Auslandspropaganda und Kulturgutraub im Ersten Weltkrieg, Rome, Bibliotheca Hertziana (Max-Planck-Institute), 2007 ; Savoy, B., Kunstraub. Napoleons Konfiszierungen in Deutschland und die europäischen Folgen, Vienna, Cologne, Weimar, Böhlau, 2010.

3  Savoy, B., 2003, op. cit., vol. 1, p. 120.

4  Namely to the cities and fortresses of Peterwardein, Großwardein and Temesvar, at that time belonging to Hungarian territory. – Between 1797 and 1813, the Viennese gallery had been evacuated five times. See Hoppe-Harnoncourt, A., “Geschichte der Restaurierung an der K. K. Gemäldegalerie. 1. Teil: 1772 bis 1828”, in: Seipel, W., ed., Jahrbuch des Kunsthistorischen Museums, vol. 94, Vienna, Anton Schroll, 2001, p. 135–206, here p. 156–163.

5  Österreichisches Staatsarchiv (OeStA), Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv (HHStA), OKäA, 102 B, Nr. 248/1813 (H. Füger to high-chamberlain, 22.11.1809).

6  Füger was able to save 86 pieces more than Johann Tusch(1738-1817), first curator of the gallery and responsible for the evacuation of 1805. See note 5.

7  OeSta, HHStA, OKäA, Nr. 412/1810 (H. Füger to high chamberlain, 13.02.1810).

8  OeStA, HHStA, Frankreich Varia, I 89/11, Wien C, p. 2-9. One of these crates contained large-sized paintings on canvas that had been rolled over a cylinder for transportation. See note 5.

9  As suggested by a drawing of Benjamin Zix (1772-1811) and Constant Bourgeois (1767-1841), showing the packing of the Viennese paintings on the terrace of Belvedere palace (L´Emballage des tableaux sur la terrasse du Belvédère à Vienne, 1810, private collection). Compare Pénot, S., “Der napoleonische Kunstraub im Belvedere (1809) und seine Folgen”, in Pfaffenbichler, M., éd., Napoleon. Feldherr, Kaiser und Genie, exp.-cat., Schallaburg, 2009, p. 111–119, here p. 114.

10 See Dupuy-Vachey, M.-A., Le Masne Chermont, I., et al., Vivant Denon, directeur des musées sous le Consulat et l'Empire, Paris, Réunion des Musées Nationaux Paris, 1999, p. 593-594, Nr. 1678² and 1678³ (Louis-Antoine Lavallée to P.J. Franck, 24. and 25.10.1809). – Archives des Musées Nationaux (AMN), P4, 30 octobre 1809 (Franck to Lavallée). – Moreover, four crates containing paintings and manuscripts that had been delayed in Strasbourg, gained Paris in December 1809. AMN, P4, 8 décembre 1809 (J.-B. Collin to Denon).

11  The newly created provincial museums located in Caen, Dijon, Lyon, Toulouse, Grenoble, Brussels as well as the palaces of Strasbourg and Compiègne and the Parisian churches of Ste. Elisabeth (rue du Temple), St. Nicolas des Champs, St. Eustache, La Madeleine, St. Jacques du Haute Pas received sendings of Viennese paintings.  See AMN, 1DD11 (Caen, Dijon, Lyon, Toulouse, Grenoble, Brussels, Eglises de Paris). The list of Viennese paintings distributed in France, composed in 1815 by Louis-Antoine Lavallée, then secretary of the Parisian Musée, was published by Lhotsky, A., “Die Geschichte der Sammlungen. Zweite Hälfte: Von Maria Theresia bis zum Ende der Monarchie”, Festschrift des Kunsthistorischen Museums in Wien, 1891-1941, vol. 2., Horn, Ferdinand Berger, 1941, p. 519–520.

12  Joseph Rosa junior (1760-1822), second curator of the painting gallery in Belvedere palace, had been sent as commissioner to Paris to negotiate the restitution of the Austrian collections (including the Habsburg holdings in Italy). Compare Archives Nationales (AN), O³1429 (09.09.1815). – AMN, 1DD53 (09.09.1815). – OeStA, HHStA, OKäA, 136 B, Nr. 2166/1816 (J. Rosa junior to high chamberlain, 19.09.1815).

13  See Pénot, S., 2009, op. cit., p. 117.

14  Lining: Old canvas paintings have been adhered to a secondary canvas support to strengthen (and flatten) them since the late 17th century. The adhesives used since that time were generally water based mixtures of paste and glue. In the beginning of the 19th century the mixtures were adapted through addition of waxes, resins and/or oils. Schaible, V., “Der Weg der Doubliertechniken. Versuch einer Zwischenbilanz”, Maltechnik/Restauro, n°4, 1983, p. 251–256.

15 Transposition: The transfer of the entire paint layer from one support to another was performed when the original support, whether canvas or wood, was degraded to such an extent that it could not be saved (for instance in the case of severe insect infestation). While this method is already documented in the beginning of the 18th century in Italy, it was probably Robert Picault (1705-1781) who introduced it after 1750 in France. Émile-Mâle, G., “La première transposition au Louvre en 1750. La Charité d'Andrea del Sarto ”, Revue du Louvre, n° 32, 1982, p. 223–230 ; Schaible, V., “Die Gemäldeübertragung“, Maltechnik/Restauro, n°2, 1983, p. 96–129.

16  Cradling: Since the 18th century, the cradling of wooden panels consisted in reducing the bulk of the wooden support from the reverse side with various planes, in order to re-establish a flat surface. The reduction of wood from the reverse was deemed necessary in order to subsequently humidify and physically flatten the painting support under pressure. In order to keep the support in this position, a system of grooved, wooden bars was both glued and inserted to the reverse. Schiessl, U., “History of Panel Painting Conservation in Austria, Germany and Switzerland“, Dardes, K., Rothe, A. eds., The structural conservation of panel paintings, Los Angeles, Getty Conservation Institute, 1998, p. 200–236 ; Bergeon Langle, S., Émile-Mâle, G., et al., “The Restauration of Wooden Painting Supports. Two Hundred Years of History in France”, ibid., p. 264–288; Bret, J., Jaunard, D., et al., “The Conservation-Restauration of Wooden Painting Supports. Evolution of Methods and Current Research in the Service de Restauration des Musées de France”, ibid., p. 252–263.

17  See also: Gustavson, N., “Restaurierung zwischen Krieg und Frieden. Napoleon in Österreich und die Folgen für die Restauriergeschichte”, in Krist, G.,Griesser-Stermscheg, M., eds., Konservierungswissenschaften und Restaurierung heute. Von Objekten, Gemälden, Textilien und Steinen. Konservierungswissenschaft, Restaurierung, Technologie, vol. 7, Vienna, Böhlau, 2010, p. 323–331; Gustavson, N., “Conservation-restauration des tableaux viennois à Paris sous l´Empire (1809-1815)”, Technè (33), 2011, p. 61–66.

18  AN, O² 839, mémoire F.-T. Hacquin, 4th trimester 1809.

19  AN, O² 836, mémoire J.-M. Hooghstoel, 3rd trimester 1810. – AN, O² 839, mémoire J.-M. Hooghstoel 4th trimester 1810.

20  Concerning irregularities weave and thread count. The material of the canvas – whether linen or hemp – was not analysed.

21  Often through the use of heat and pressure during the lining process, the seams of the original and/or lining canvas become more prominent. By incising the seam allowance on the verso, F.-T. Hacquin produced smaller, more flexible parts in this area that did not show so easily on the recto.  

22  The lining medium consists in a mixture of starch and animal glue, probably with little additions of chalk. Analyses executed in the conservation science department of the KHM by Vaclav Pitthard, Marta Anghelone, Sabine Stanek and Natalia Gustavson. The lining on hand seems akin to F.-T. Hacquin´s descriptions in the mémoire from 22.05.1798, except for the application of a protective layer on the back. AMN, P16, 22 mai 1798 (F.-T. Hacquin to the museum´s administration). Compare Philippe, E., Innover, connaître et transmettre. L´art de la restauration selon François-Toussaint Haquin , Technè, n°27-28, 2008, p. 53–59, here p. 55-56.

23  AN, O² 839, mémoire J. Fouque, 4th trimester 1809. Compare Jamois, T., “Les ateliers de restauration de peinture au Louvre sous la Révolution”, Technè, n° 27-28, 2008, p. 119–124, here p. 120.

24  AN, O² 839, mémoire P. Carlier, 3rd trimester 1810.

25  This paint doesn´t lie on parts of the lining canvas covered by the stretcher. – Analyses executed in the conservation science department of the KHM by Vaclav Pitthard, Martina Griesser, Marta Anghelone and Natalia Gustavson.

26  J. Fouque probably adopted and refined this method from F.-T. Hacquin. Compare AMN, P16, 17.05.1798 (F.-T. Hacquin to the museum´s administration).

27  AN, O² 835, mémoire J. Fouque, 2nd trimester 1810.

28  AN, O² 835, mémoire P. Carlier, 2nd trimester 1810. – AN, O² 836, mémoire P. Carlier, 3rd trimester 1810.

29  Restoration carried out by Ina Slama.

30  Fouque also provided the two new stretchers, see note 27.

31  Interestingly, neither the use of the protective paint layer nor the paper borders were specified in the archival documents (note 27), although they are clearly linked to Fouque senior´s work from 1810.

32  This is probably linked to the fact that the panel paintings sent to Paris were mostly smaller formats that could be transported more easily.

33  AN, O² 836, mémoire F.-T. Hacquin, 2nd trimester 1813.

34  AN, O² 836, mémoire J.-M. Hooghstoel, 2nd trimester 1813.

35  Most of the panels brought to Paris were probably smaller formats and needed therefore only scarcely invasive interventions like cradlings. See note 32.

36 Oberthaler, E., Tafelbildbehandlungen im Kunsthistorischen Museum Wien”, Restauratorenblätter, n° 19, 1998, p. 45–54. When comparing those later Austrian cradles with the French sample, the main difference consists in the narrower spaced Viennese bars, the Parisian strips being more flat and broad.

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List of illustrations

Title Fig. 1 Bonifazio de’ Pitati, The Triumph of Love
Credits © Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna
URL http://ceroart.revues.org/docannexe/image/2325/img-1.jpg
File image/jpeg, 76k
Title Fig. 2 Detail of the verso
Caption Incisions in the seam allowance
Credits Photograph by the author
URL http://ceroart.revues.org/docannexe/image/2325/img-2.jpg
File image/jpeg, 208k
Title Fig. 3 Bonifazio de’ Pitati, The Triumph of Chastity, about 1530/1540
Caption Oil on canvas, 148 x 241 cm, Inv.Nr. KHM GG_1521
Credits © Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna
URL http://ceroart.revues.org/docannexe/image/2325/img-3.jpg
File image/jpeg, 84k
Title Fig. 4 Detail of the verso
Caption  Penetrated lining medium
Credits Photograph by the author
URL http://ceroart.revues.org/docannexe/image/2325/img-4.jpg
File image/jpeg, 264k
Title Fig. 5 Titian, Pope Paul III Farnese, after 1546
Caption Oil on canvas, 89 x 78 cm, Inv.Nr. KHM GG_99
Credits © Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna
URL http://ceroart.revues.org/docannexe/image/2325/img-5.jpg
File image/jpeg, 144k
Title Fig. 6 Verso
Caption Lining canvas with protective layer
Credits Photograph by the author
URL http://ceroart.revues.org/docannexe/image/2325/img-6.jpg
File image/jpeg, 56k
Title Fig.7 Giovanni Francesco Romanelli, Jephta and his daughter, 17th century
Caption Oil on canvas, 205 x 216 cm, Inv. Nr. KHM GG_1562
Credits © Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna
URL http://ceroart.revues.org/docannexe/image/2325/img-7.jpg
File image/jpeg, 104k
Title Fig. 8 Detail
Caption Detail of the border
Credits Photograph by Ina Slama
URL http://ceroart.revues.org/docannexe/image/2325/img-8.jpg
File image/jpeg, 140k
Title Fig. 9 Giuseppe Maria Crespi, The Kentaur Chiron and Achilles, about 1695/1697
Caption Oil on canvas, 123 x 124,9 cm, Inv. Nr. KHM GG_270
Credits © Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna
URL http://ceroart.revues.org/docannexe/image/2325/img-9.jpg
File image/jpeg, 92k
Title Fig. 10 Giuseppe Maria Crespi, Aeneas, Sibyl and Charon, about 1695/1697
Caption Oil on canvas, 129 x 127 cm, Inv. Nr. KHM GG_306
Credits © Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna
URL http://ceroart.revues.org/docannexe/image/2325/img-10.jpg
File image/jpeg, 112k
Title Fig. 11 Samuel Van Hoogstraten, Inner view of the Burgplatz in Vienna, 1652
Caption Oil on wood, 79 x 84,5 cm, Inv. Nr. KHM GG_1752, Recto
Credits © Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
URL http://ceroart.revues.org/docannexe/image/2325/img-11.jpg
File image/jpeg, 112k
Title Fig. 12 Samuel Van Hoogstraten, Inner view of the Burgplatz in Vienna, 1652
Caption Oil on wood, 79 x 84,5 cm, Inv. Nr. KHM GG_1752, Verso
Credits © Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
URL http://ceroart.revues.org/docannexe/image/2325/img-12.jpg
File image/jpeg, 112k
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References

Electronic reference

Natalia Gustavson, « Retracing the restoration history of Viennese paintings in the Musée Napoléon (1809-1815) », CeROArt [Online], HS | 2012, Online since 10 April 2012, connection on 20 October 2017. URL : http://ceroart.revues.org/2325

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About the author

Natalia Gustavson

Natalia Gustavson enseigne la conservation-restauration de tableaux à l’Université des arts appliqués de Vienne en Autriche. Elle y prépare une thèse de doctorat intitulée “ Le transfert d’œuvres d’art sous Napoléon – Recherches sur l´histoire de la restauration franco-autrichienne au XIXe siècle, concernant les tableaux de la collection du Kunsthistorisches Museum de Vienne ”, sous la direction du Prof. Gabriela Krist.

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Copyright

Licence Creative Commons
CeROArt – Conservation, exposition, restauration d'objets d'arts est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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