Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


Workshop 2 - Manufacture of textile support 2 - Module 2B Canvas
Laboratorio 2 - Manufatti su supporto tessile 2 - Modulo 2B Tele

A.Y. Credits
2015/2016 5
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Franco Del Zotto

Assigned to the Degree Course

Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

Give students the necessary tools to face the design of a restoration project, able to work on an artwork on canvas from the structural point of view, being able to operate in the cleaning of polychrome works with the use of new generation emulsions and microemulsions and finally give the necessary tools to know how to handle the new technologies in the field of restoration. 


Analysis of the rheological behavior of the constituent materials: mechanical properties of wood, of canvas, of the preparation, of the paint layers, of the physical-mechanical behavior of materials, of external factors and theirs influence in the behavior (6 hours).

Consolidation of paint layers and support: traditional and synthetic materials and use of the vacuum, including the design and implementation of a system for the vacuum. (16 hours)

Application of inserts and compensation of discontinuity and processing of cutting and tearing by the use of the microscope and load tests at break (16 hours).

Remove the lining, strip lining and use of Beva in the lining (8 hours).

The concept of minimal intervention and the concept of not lining where possible (2 hours).

The tension of the paintings on canvas - theoretical part: the constant stress and the relationship canvas-frame. Analysis and variations of the distributions of the tensions within a painting in relation to the types of frame that we use. Traditional methods and history of the tension of the paintings on canvas. Measures to give uniformity to the forces applied to the painted textile.

Models and mechanisms for self-expansion frames and frames floating self adaptive. Low impact solutions for the reuse of the original frames. Recovery of ancient frames and study of reticular frames. Systems of sliding perimeter edges and protection systems of the back. Folding auto-adaptive floating frame for the restoration of large format canvases. A moulding frame with a floating auto-adaptive suspension system for recto-verso paintings on canvas.

The tension of the paintings on canvas - practical part: Design and structural analysis of a new frame. Structural calculation of the sections of the materials that make up the frame. System to carry out a floating auto-adaptive frame. Lien Test of a canvas on a frame giving uniformity of distribution of the weight. Operations to keep the original frame by transforming the lien by inflexible to floating. Fitting a canvas with a floating system.

Design and calculation of the overstrain of tension. Illustration of case studies and exemplary restorations. Applications on models and / or real artifacts through sample models.

(41 hours total of theory and practice on the tension of the paintings on canvas)

Treatments for cleaning works on canvas: a depht into the emulsions and micro emulsions for cleaning polychrome, new generation silicone polymers, preparation of kits and systematic use of the test for cleaning (12 hours).

Method of control over the material, before during and after the restoration with the help of new technologies: photography, working methodology, monitoring, documentation and practical realization of sereval methods of image capture, theirs analysis including post-production (24 hours).

Bridging Courses

It's requested the frequency to previous models

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

- The student must show the control of basic skills related on identification of performance techniques and constituent materials and the reading of the state of preservation of the painting in relation to its conservation history;

- The student must show the requisite skills to use theoretical and practical knowledge that enable it to properly design the restoration and / or maintenance project according to actual needs of the work with particular interest in the material and structural aspects, even in the face teaching cases problematic, and to operate with a certain degree of autonomy both in the preliminary phase of the study (design phase) is in the purely operational phase;

- The student must show the ability to apply the knowledge gained in previous courses and to develop a personal research relating to the concepts assimilated in his studies.

-The Student must show the ability to draw up an accurate technical report of work done with the reasons for such materials and methods chosen, and its digital documentation performed in the different time phases of the intervention.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities

It will be provided  a dossier of texts and images by lecture notes and technical articles.

Teaching, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment


The teaching of the course will be based on technical and theoretical lessons and practical demonstrations by the teacher and in a practical part on the works carried out in the laboratory samples or directly by students


obligation frequency

Course books

Carità R., Considerazioni sui telai per affreschi trasportati su tela, in "Bollettino dell'istituto centrale del restauro", n.19, 1955.

G. A. Berger, The role of tension in the preservation of canvas paintings: a study of panoramas, in ICOM Committee for Conservation 6th Triennal Meeting, Preprints, Ottawa, 25-27 September 1981, Paris, 1981, pp.1-12.

W. H. Russel-G. A. Berger, The behavior of canvas as a structural support for painting: preliminary report, IIC Preprints Science and Technology, Washington D.C. 1982.

F. Del Zotto, Preservation of canvas paintings. Structural solutions in relation to environmental changes. Preliminary report in Science Technology and European Cultural heritage, (Proceedings of European Symposium, Bologna,13-16 June 1989), Brussels-Luxembourg 1991, pp. 717-721.

F. Del Zotto, Preservation of canvas paintings. Structural solutions in relation to environmental changes, in ICOM Preprints, Dresda 1990, pp.113-118; F. Del Zotto, Self-expansion stretcher for two-sided paintings: floating auto-adapting suspension system, in ICOM-CC Preprints, Rio de Janeiro 2002, pp. 338-345.

F. Del Zotto, Il telaio come strumento di conservazione preventiva: recenti soluzioni per l'equilibrio delle forze e il mantenimento delle strutture di supporto originali, in Lo stato dell'arte, (Atti del primo congresso nazionale dell'IGIIC), Torino 2003, pp. 396-408.

F. Del Zotto, Bastidores y pinturas sobre lienzo. Equilibrio de las tensiones y propuestas operativas (secunda parte), in "PH57 - Boletin del Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Historico", 57, (Febrero 2006), pp. 82-96.

F. Del Zotto, Separazione e recupero di una pellicola pittorica superficiale stesa come rifacimento sulla policromia originale di un dipinto tessile, Atti del nono congresso nazionale dell'IGIIC, Venezia 2010, pp. 291-298.

F.Del Zotto, Tensionamento dei dipinti su tela. Contributo per una ricerca metodologica applicata in relazione ai fattori ambiente e microclima, sta in Kermes n°9, Firenze 1990, pp. 3-10.

F. Del Zotto, Telaio-cornice con sistema di sospensione flottante autoadattivo per dipinti su tela recto-verso, sta in "Kermes" n. 69, Trimestrale, Nardini Editore, 2008, pp.61-73.

M.F. Mecklenburg, Meccanismi di Cedimento nei dipinti su tela: approcci per lo sviluppo di protocolli di consolidamento, Collana I Talenti, Il Prato, Padova 2007.

Daphne De Luca, I Manufatti dipinti su supporto tessile, Vademecum per allievi restauratori, Collana Lineamenti di Restauro e Conservazione dei Beni Culturali; Il Prato, Padova, 2012

W. Heiber, Tear repair on cotton canvas: a variation of the Heiber Tecnique, WAAC Newsletter, Volume 28 numer 2, May 2006 (on line).

V. R. Mehra, Pensando ad alta voce ...Thinking out loud..., Quaderni del Cesmar7, n. 0, Il Prato,Padova 2003.

V. R. Mehra, Foderatura a freddo. I testi fondamentali per la metodologia e la pratica, Firenze, Nardini Editore,2004.

P. Cremonesi-E- Signorini, Un approccio alla pulitura dei dipinti mobili, Collana i Talenti n. 29, Il Prato, Padova 2012.

P. Cremonesi, L'idoneità dei materiali che utilizziamo nel restauro, in Progetto Restauro n. 67, Il Prato 2013, pp 30-40

R.C:Wolbers, Cleaning Painted Surfaces, Aqueous Methods, Archetype Puplications, London 2000. Traduzione italiana: R.C.Wolbers, La Pulitura di Superfici Dipinte. Metodi Acquosi, Collana Maestri del Restauro, 1, Il Prato, Padova, 2005.


The examination consists in:

1) To take the exam, the student must submit a technical report of the operations project and/or restoration works phases made in the laboratory, drawn in a group or individually.

The report will be developed according to the model provided by the teacher during the modules and it will include:

- Graphic documentation;

- photographic documentation;

- Card detection and documentation.

The work will be completed and corrected during the module course and delivered in electronic form and paper copy, during the exam.

Photographic images should be properly numbered and linked to its caption.

2) The examination consists of an interview to be incurred with teachers who belong to the modules followed. The oral exam will focus on:

  • Operations carried out in the laboratory
  • Bibliography provided by the teachers.


If the students have theirs own cameras and /or personal computer or tablet, it's a kind request to bring with them.

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