Summer at
Siena School for Liberal Arts

Art Restoration


Filippo Manganelli

Course Description

This course consists in the technical and practical applications of current techniques of art restoration, beginning with the observation and execution of the approaches and methods employed and taught by the teacher.

Students will have the opportunity to partecipate in the conservation and restoration of historical art works, graciously made available by various patrons. The next intensive course will focus on the stages of conservation of a late 17th century fresco on a false ceiling in cane, painted by Apollonio Nasini in the Palazzo Salimbeni Bartolini Bandinelli in Siena and a late 17th century canvas, also belonging to the circle of the Nasini family of painters. Furthermore, there will be several exploratory tests of the walls of the rooms of the same nobile palazzo in search of paintings and other decorations covered over during the course of centuries.

The seminar will be intensive and the work will take at least 8 hours/days. Among the goals of the course is the evaluation of the ability and aptitude of the students to apply themselves over extended periods of time in the work of restoration.


Artistic dexterity or previous technical experience, patience, above all, respect and devotion to the figurative arts.

Course Hours

The course meets five times a week for a total of 40 or a little more hours a week.

Student Learning Expectations

Experiment with and develop aptitude in the field of art conservation and restoration.

Course Outline

Week by Week Description:

  • Week I Exploratory and expository tests on intonaco. Conservation theory and practice for wall paintings .
  • Week II Conservation theories and practice of frescoes and painting on canvas.
  • Week III Conservation theories and practice of frescoes and paintings on canvas.


Discussions among students about the workings and theories applied during the development of the topics addressed in the course, written desciptions and daily journal of interventions. Preferably in groups, or individually.

We will investigate the wall surfaces underneath the intonaco, using scalpels and/or other mechanical and chemical techniques; we will also conduct conservation of paintings on canvas (re-lining and re-stretching and other preliminary steps). We'll study and plan the series of conservation interventions such as the anchoring of the false ceiling in cane, painted with frescoes. The various stages must be accompanied by punctual documentation: graphic mapping, photographic record. In general, the lessons will be preceded by and cadenced by moments of technical explanations.

Course Policy

Attendance - No absence allowed
Retests/makeup tests - N/A
Excursions - Excursions are not foreseen or included in the course, but it's possibile to organize them if everyone is interested.

Instructor's contact

Office Hours: I'm at your disposition a quarter of hour after every lesson

email: or telephone me at 392.8458438

  • Liberal Arts Track

  • Sustainability Track

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