The Cleveland Museum of Art
Special Exhibitions
 (separator)
Battle of the Nudes

Index
Conservation Feature
Discover the Battle of the Nudes

Losses and Fills

In addition to tears, it is also very common for larger prints to have damaged/missing edges. Losses could result from the edges becoming selectively worn if they extended beyond the protective housing of a book or album. Losses could also develop from the practice of mounting prints partially or overall in albums or for presentation purposes. Edges and margins were often trimmed after they had become damaged and unsightly.

In Cleveland's Battle of the Nudes the image extends to the edges of the sheet, and the sheet has been trimmed up to or just beyond the plate mark. The image is complete and appears unaltered. The print in fact has losses all along both sides and these losses have been reconstructed with paper inserts. (There is also a very narrow insert, approximately 3 mm wide, with minimal retouching along the top edge; this constitutes only a minor restoration.) Ignoring for the time being the large loss in the lower left corner shaded in blue, the inserts for the side losses vary in width from approximately .5 cm to 2 cm. The edges of the losses are very irregular - they were not tidied up by trimming. The back-filling technique described for the tear repairs where both the repair paper and the back of the print are chamfered down to allow for a wide overlap was used for these insert repairs as well. Again repair papers were carefully chosen to match the original paper in dimensional properties, weight, color, texture, translucency and laid line frequency.

Image of 47. Pollaiuolo, <I>Battle of the Nudes</I>, CMA first-state impression, showing print's reconstructed edges.  (The larger fill at the lower left corner is discussed in Large Corner Fill)
47. Pollaiuolo, Battle of the Nudes, CMA first-state impression, showing print's reconstructed edges. (The larger fill at the lower left corner is discussed in Large Corner Fill)
Image of 48. Pollaiuolo, <I>Battle of the Nudes</I>, CMA first-state impression, overall verso view with reconstructed edges enhanced.
48. Pollaiuolo, Battle of the Nudes, CMA first-state impression, overall verso view with reconstructed edges enhanced.

Along either side of the print the missing portion of the image has been redrawn in a liquid media with pen and brush. Unlike the structural repairs already described, retouching fills in this manner is straightforward and familiar restoration technique;


Image of 49.  Pollaiuolo, <I>Battle of the Nudes</I>, CMA first-state impression, close-up showing redrawn section of fill along the right edge.
49. Pollaiuolo, Battle of the Nudes, CMA first-state impression, close-up showing redrawn section of fill along the right edge.
Image of 50. Pollaiuolo, <I>Battle of the Nudes</I>, CMA first-state impression, close-up with redrawn section enhanced.
50. Pollaiuolo, Battle of the Nudes, CMA first-state impression, close-up with redrawn section enhanced.
Image of 51. Pollaiuolo, <I>Battle of the Nudes</I>, CMA first-state impression, magnified detail of grapes showing the difference between original printed lines and hand-drawn lines on the fill.
51. Pollaiuolo, Battle of the Nudes, CMA first-state impression, magnified detail of grapes showing the difference between original printed lines and hand-drawn lines on the fill.
Image of 52. Pollaiuolo, <I>Battle of the Nudes</I>, CMA first-state impression, a magnified detail along the left side constrasting original printed lines with hand-drawn lines on the fill.
52. Pollaiuolo, Battle of the Nudes, CMA first-state impression, a magnified detail along the left side constrasting original printed lines with hand-drawn lines on the fill.

Below are two images which summarize both the damges in the print and the restorations. On the left is Pollaiuolo engraving showing all of the damages uncovered by the in-depth examination and what the print would look like in its unrestored state. On the right is the print's verso with all of the restoration areas clearly marked.


Image of 53.  Pollaiuolo, <I>Battle of the Nudes</I>, CMA first-state impression, reconstruction of the print in its unrepaired state, showing all tears and losses.
53. Pollaiuolo, Battle of the Nudes, CMA first-state impression, reconstruction of the print in its unrepaired state, showing all tears and losses.
Image of 54.Pollaiuolo, <I>Battle of the Nudes</I>, CMA first-state impression, print as seen from the verso with all repairs enhanced.
54.Pollaiuolo, Battle of the Nudes, CMA first-state impression, print as seen from the verso with all repairs enhanced.

It is useful at this juncture to compare these two reconstructions of the Pollaiuolo engraving with an illustration from Schweidler's restoration manual.


Image of 55. Illustration from Max Schweidler, <I>Die Instandsetzung von Kuperstichen, Zeichnungern, Buchern Usw.</I>, Buchbinder-Verlag Max Hettler, Stuttgart, 1950, p. 71.  Illustration has captions translated, and shows Schwidler's methods for repairing comparable structural damages.
55. Illustration from Max Schweidler, Die Instandsetzung von Kuperstichen, Zeichnungern, Buchern Usw., Buchbinder-Verlag Max Hettler, Stuttgart, 1950, p. 71. Illustration has captions translated, and shows Schwidler's methods for repairing comparable structural damages.
The similarities revealed when comparing these three images combined with Max Schweidler's exacting instructions for repairing tears, strengthens the argument that the Cleveland impression of Battle of the Nudes was restored by one of the Schweidlers or by an individual such as Drescher who was also well-versed in these techniques.


Page 6 of 10 | On the next page: Large Corner Fill