Titian's <i>Madonna with the Cherries</i>: a conservation history reconsidered

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Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Oberthaler, E.; Griesser, M.;


Tradition and innovation: advances in conservation: contributions to the Melbourne Congress, 10-14 October 2000, p.140-144 (2000)


canvas, copies (derivative objects), Engert, Erasmus (1796-1871), panel paintings, previous interventions, supports (artists' materials), Titian (ca. 1488-1576)


Titian's Madonna with the Cherries, c. 1515, (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) holds an interesting place in the history of restoration and scientific examination. Mentioned in early inventories as a canvas painting glued to a wooden panel, it underwent two radical treatments in the 19th century. In the 1820s, the canvas was separated from the wooden panel. Twenty- five years later, the decision was taken to transfer the picture. Under the supervision of outside authorities, the painter-restorer Erasmus Engert was commissioned to undertake the treatment. The contract stipulated that he first copy the painting as a means of documentation. Another copy was made during the transfer process, when removal of the support and the ground layer revealed extensive underdrawing as well as changes in the composition. In addition to the history of the transferred painting, recent scientific examination as well as new documentary findings are discussed. The copies are also examined and compared with the original.