Pictorial Reintegration

Pictorial Reintegration

Pictorial inpainting
In the context of the restoration of a pictorial surface, the intervention aimed at recreating a chromatic or chromatic and formal connection where there are gaps or abrasions of the pictorial film, without prejudice to the need for the intervention, in compliance with one of the fundamental postulates of the restoration , this will be performed (whichever technique has been chosen) in watercolor, gouache or varnish colors, in order to have the greatest guarantees of “reversibility” of the operation. See neutral inpainting, rigatino inpainting, color abstraction inpainting, color selection inpainting and retouching.

Rigatino inpainting
or “righettino”. Intervention of pictorial reintegration in which the chromatic connection between the gap and the surrounding area is carried out by means of a vertical hatching, in harmony with the local chromatic values, so that from a distance the intervention is imperceptible but is clearly highlighted at a closer view . The method, developed by the Central Institute of Restoration of Rome, differs from the reintegration with chromatic selection (see) for the use of mixed colors and for the trend of the hatching in a vertical direction, without a directional trend that follow the “ductus” of the surrounding formal elements.

Selective inpainting
Pictorial reintegration in which the intervention is carried out in such a way that at a certain distance it is imperceptible but is clearly evident at a closer view. In other words, it is an intervention carried out by juxtaposing and partially overlapping short hatches (see rigatino inpainting, color selection inpainting and color abstraction inpainting) or dots of selected colors which, from a distance, will appear as a vibration of color in harmony with the local or general color scheme of the painting.

Color selection inpainting
In the interventions of pictorial reintegration by hatching, a color selection is defined as a chromatic and formal connection of the gap with the rest of the painting, carried out with the application of dashes of pure color, applied to successive and superimposed layers. The method, defined in the 1970s by Umberto Baldini and Ornella Casazza, finds application “where the gap can be reconstructed in its chromatic and figural reality without this reconstruction bringing with it doubts, interpretative “arbitrariness”, multiple formal or chromatic solutions “. This method is also used in the connection of a gap in a golden surface, in particular with the application in succession of yellow, red and green colors (selection of gold effect). See also color abstraction inpainting.

Color abstraction inpainting
Among the interventions of pictorial reintegration in hatching of a pictorial surface, an exclusively chromatic connection of the gap is defined as color abstraction, performed with the application of pure-colored dashes applied to successive and superimposed layers. The method, defined in the seventies by Umberto Baldini and Ornella Casazza (and today scarcely used due to the complexity of the procedure), has found application in the case of lacunae of a certain size or in any case localized in such a way as to leave doubts about the “arbitrariness” of a possible formal “reconnection”. In this case (unlike what happens with the color selection inpainting, and like the neutral inpainting), the shades surrounding the gap will not be taken into account, but we will try to identify a color scheme that results from the sum of the color values of the painting as a whole.

Neutral inpainting
Intervention of pictorial reintegration that involves a treatment of the gaps with the same color, mostly applied evenly, without reconstruction of the formal elements. Widely used in the 1970s, neutral reintegration is now mostly used only for large lacunae.

Undertone imitative inpainting
Imitative pictorial reintegration intervention (see imitative inpainting), aimed at reconstructing a chromatic and formal connection of the lacuna with the rest of the painting, however offering the possibility of identifying the area of ​​intervention thanks to the use of lighter shades ( undertone) than the surrounding ones.

Imitative inpainting
or imitative restoration, competitive restoration or mimetic restoration. Reintegration intervention that does not allow to distinguish the restored parts from the original ones. Although still widely practiced both in Italy and abroad, this method obviously clashes with one of the fundamental postulates of the restoration of works of art: the “recognizability” of the intervention. The various terminology used appears absolutely explicit, underlining the desire to hide and therefore camouflage the operation (mimetic restoration), to imitate the figural elements of the painting (imitative restoration), up to entering into real competition with the author of the work (competitive restoration).

In restoration slang it indicates an act of pictorial reintegration with very small retouches, on areas of the painting that have been abraded but still legible, in order to restore a more compact and homogeneous pictorial texture.

Manfredi Faldi – Claudio Paolini

Exerption from:

Glossario delle tecniche artistiche e del restauroClaudio Paolini, Manfredi Faldi, Glossario delle tecniche pittoriche e del restauro, edizioni Palazzo Spinelli,
Firenze 1999