Niccolò di Pietro Gerini’s 'Baptism Altarpiece': Technique, Conservation and Original Design

Britta New, Helen Howard, Rachel Billinge, Hayley Tomlinson, David Peggie and Dillian Gordon
Technical Bulletin Volume 33, 2012

Abstract

The complex physical history of Niccolò di Pietro Gerini’s Baptism Altarpiece has had a profound effect on its present appearance. Most obviously, the altarpiece was dismembered, probably in the 19th century, and several parts of the polyptych are now absent, including original framing elements. Detailed examination, undertaken as part of the recent conservation campaign, revealed numerous pieces of evidence within the support which provide important clues as to the altarpiece’s original structure and presentation. Two hypothetical reconstructions are illustrated.

The results of the technical analysis which accompanied the studio treatment are described, including evidence for the presence of an early or possibly original varnish. The conservation history of the object is also discussed, particularly the influence of previous interventions on the recent choice of cleaning methods.

Keywords 

Niccolò di Pietro Gerini, altarpiece, panel, painting technique, gilding, cross-sections, underdrawing, pigments, egg tempera, early varnish, original design, reconstructions, conservation history

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Niccolò di Pietro Gerini’s 'Baptism Altarpiece': Technique, Conservation and Original Design – Britta New, Helen Howard, Rachel Billinge, Hayley Tomlinson, David Peggie and Dillian Gordon (PDF 5.8MB)


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To cite this article we suggest using

New, B., Howard, H., Billinge, R., Tomlinson, H., Peggie, D., Gordon, D. 'Niccolò di Pietro Gerini’s 'Baptism Altarpiece': Technique, Conservation and Original Design'. National Gallery Technical Bulletin Vol 33, pp 27–49.
http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/technical-bulletin/new_howard_billinge_tomlinson_peggie_gordon2012


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