Belisario frees Orvieto from the Goths

Flavius Belisarius, was a successful Byzantine Empire’s general, 220px-Belisarius_mosaicwho served the Emperor Justinian helping him to achieve his project of reconquering much of the Mediterranean territory of the former Western Roman Empire, lost less than a century previously.

This drawing by Cesare Fracassini, restored thanks to the generosity of the French Chapter,  was completed for the curtain of the Teatro Mancinelli in belOrvieto.

The artist used the same techniques for his previous large-scale drawings: charcoal and white lead on special paper, prepared with glue and then pulled out (stretched) on wooden supports. This technique results in an extremely delicate product. Because the surface is so fragile, it is usually preserved; in this case the work was framed and protected with glass.

The image below shows the back of the drawing and the wooden support: the edges and dirt. restoration work consisted in dismantling the original frame and removing dust from the entire surface, front and back. Afterwards, the restorers removed both the adhesive tape and the glue previously spread all over the wooden support. The fissures in the paper were newly sealed with special reversible glue and Japanese paper. A very light touch up was performed on the areas where the color was missing. The central part of the drawing was lightly shaded and rendered. Finally, the drawing was mounted on the support and framed.

bel3As shown in the images above the edges of the corners were damaged and ripped. the entire surface was covered with a player of dust a dirt.  b7The restoration work consisted in the dismantling of the original frame and removing dust from the entire surface, front and back. Afterwards, the restorers removed both the adhesive tape and the glue previously spread all over the wooden support. The fissures in the paper were newly sealed with special reversible glue and Japanese paper. A very light touch up was performed on the areas where the color was missing. The central part of the drawing was lightly shaded and rendered. Finally, the drawing was mounted on the support and framed.

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Detail of the removal of old tape on the back

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Detail of the cleaning of the front with special sponge