Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando Plaster Casts Collection in Madrid
This is the winner of a Medal
For over 4 years the Royal Academy of Arts in Madrid has conducted a vast project to clean and restore one of the oldest collections of plaster sculptures in Europe. A significant part of this collection is made up of casts bought for Philip IV by Diego Velazquez during his second journey in Italy in 1649-50. A second group is constituted by copies of discoveries in Pompei and Herculaneum made for Carlos III in 1765. A third group belonged to the painter A. R. Mengs.
The experience led to the development of new techniques, namely the reinforcement of polimeres. There was excellent documentation on the processes, such as the extensive analysis of the internal structure of the plasters was carried out through a set of 150 gammagraphies. The collection is now displayed in new wing of the museum.
“For the skilful restoration of a rare and fragile ensemble that documents the artistic reference of the period and for the valuable knowledge gained which can be applied to similar collections throughout Europe.”