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ICS Sydney - International Conservation Services

charcoal portrait by Mario Grixoni

 

This charming charcoal portrait by Italian artist Mario Grixoni (1879-1946) was drawn in 1937 on a light weight machine-made paper.

Condition

Upon arrival at ICS, the piece was suffering from staining and tide lines caused by a recent water-damage incident, most noticeably around the subject's right eye. There was also a small tear in the top right-hand corner and some minor discolouration towards the edges.           

Treatment

While the treatment required to reduce these kinds of stains is normally fairly straight forward, complications arose due to the charcoal medium. Charcoal is very friable and difficult to handle without disturbing it. So, instead of a more immersive aqueous treatment, the piece was carefully treated using a controlled blotter washing method, which reduced the stains and discolouration whilst ensuring that the charcoal was not affected in any way. The torn corner was then repaired and the whole artwork gently humidified and pressed to flatten under light weights. Although difficult to see in the after treatment photographs, the water stains were successfully reduced, allowing the viewer to once again enjoy this artwork without distraction. 

Client

Private Collection 

Services

Paper Conservation 

 

 

 

 

 

         

Charcoal portrait - AT
After treatment  

Charcoal portrait - BT Tear
Before treatment - Tear in right-hand corner

Charcoal portrait - AT tear
After treatment - Tear repaired
   
Charcoal portrait - BT staining
Before treatment - Tide lines & staining visible below the eye
     
Charcoal portrait - AT staining
After treatment - Tide lines & staining reduced