The decoration of the Portego of the Querini-Stampalia Palace
The decoration, carried out at the end of the 18th century for the wedding of Alvise Querini di Zuanne and Maria Teresa di Francesco, consists of stucco work in the pre-neoclassical style, with marmorino borders in shades of green and pink.The ceiling is covered with a series of frescoes, the centre-piece being the Allegory of Dawn, by Jacopo Guarana, surrounded by other monochrome frescoes representing mythological and artistic allegories.
Description of deterioration
The accretion of dirt on the walls and ceiling detracted considerably from the aesthetic appearance of the whole. In addition, the elements of relief decoration looked as if they might fall off at any time.
It was necessary to clean the surface, rid it of all the layers of dirt and old fixatives, which had decayed or were threatened with damp, and clean all the patched-up areas.
This was done by impregnating the upper layers which formed no part of the original work, using clay and cellulose compresses saturated in basic solutions for varying periods of time. The solutions were then thoroughly rinsed off, sponges and brushes being used for level surfaces and small soft brushes for reliefs. The cleaning of the reliefs was finished off mechanically, so as to restore completely the original balance of colours.
The reliefs were then sprayed with fixative, the plasterwork consolidated and firmly attached to the surface of the wall, the fissures filled up and the decayed plaster replaced.
The cost of restoration was financed mainly from the proceeds of an exhibition on Italy held in spring, in March 1995.
Total Project Cost: 57 million lira
Lead Organization / Sector / Office: The French Committee for the Safeguarding of Venice
Contact: Fiorenza Civran