Alonso Berruguete_Reinassance Sculptor - Page 86

Review of the conservation
and restoration process of
Alonso Berruguete’s Saint Sebastian
Hans Westhoff, Stuttgart &
Matthias Brune, Hamburg (Restorers)
State of conservation
The sculpture is in very good condition (fig. 57). The original
polychromy, which is on a white primer, was covered by two later
Fig. 58 Detail
layers of polychromy which were applied on the original layer
of chest showing
directly, without primer. The first of these overpaints can be dated
two layers of
roughly to the eighteenth century; the second to the late nineteenth
or early twentieth century (fig. 58).
Removal of the non-original polychromy revealed that the
original figure – as it appears now – has four holes, certainly
intended to enclose arrows: one in the upper left arm, three in
the torso. During the course of the first overpainting, three more
holes were added, one in the right lower arm, a second next to
the left shin, and a third in the lower abdomen; at the same time,
one of the original holes in the upper left torso was filled and
concealed. The second overpainting again shifted the arrow holes,
concealing one in the torso, leaving one in the left upper arm, one
in the right forearm, two in the torso, and one near the left shin
(fig. 59). All the changes to the holes were reversed to restore the
work to its original state.
Fig. 57
The original polychromy of the tree trunk was covered by two
layers of green, oil-based paint (fig 60).
Saint Sebastian,
ca. 1530,
Fig. 59 Saint Sebastian after second overpaint
(photograph taken in 2012).
wood, 164 x
41 x 51 cm.
Fig. 60 View of green overpaint on tree trunk.


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