OIL ON COTTON CANVAS
BROWN COUNTY MUSEUM, NEW ULM, MINNESOTA
Emperor Hermann painting was created by the famous New Ulm artist and photographer Anton Gag, in honor of the dedication of the Hermann Monument in 1897. Depicting German Emperor Hermann of Cherusci atop a horse, the painting serves as a reminder of New Ulm’s Germanic heritage. It was executed with oil paint on gessoed thin cotton canvas.
Rediscovered after being forgotten for more than 100 years in the basement of Hermann Monument, the painting shows the ravages of time, frost, heat, and humidity. The climate variations caused extreme stress, the thin cloth canvas weakened and the paint layers cracked and curled. The painting presents also tears and large areas of missing gesso and paint.
RESTORATION CONSISTED OF:
- Consolidating paint layers
- Mending the tears in the canvas
- Lining the painting on linen canvas, using a heat/vacuum table
- Filling the cracks and the missing areas of gesso and paint
- Inpainting, using reversible conservation materials
- Varnishing with a reversible and UV protective synthetic varnish