The Conservation of the Carracci Cartoons in the National Gallery

Gabriele Finaldi, Eric Harding and June Wallis
Technical Bulletin Volume 16, 1995

Abstract

The two cartoons, Cephalus carried off by Aurora in her Chariot and A Woman borne off by a Sea God (?), were drawn by Annibale Carracci, with some assistance from Agostino Carracci, for a completed design in the Palazzo Farnese in Rome. One had been cut up during the process. Their  transfer to the ceiling is discussed, as is the contribution by each Carracci brother. The cartoons were executed on blue-grey paper, seriously discoloured before conservation treatment began, with charcoal and a carbon-containing grey wash, and some red earth. Both had been supported with canvas in the past. Separation was affected with an ultrasonic humidifier and a more stable support of Japanese and rag papers, linen canvas, and aluminum honeycomb was devised and used.

Keywords 

Annibale Carracci, drawings, Japanese paper, National Gallery (London)

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To cite this article we suggest using

Finaldi, G., Harding, E., Wallis, J. 'The Conservation of the Carracci Cartoons in the National Gallery'. National Gallery Technical Bulletin Vol 16, pp 30–46.
http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/technical-bulletin/finaldi_harding_wallis1995


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