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​Abba Antonio said: «I saw all the Enemy's nets spread over the earth and groaning I said:« Who will be able to escape? ». And I heard a voice that said to me: «Humility». 



Technical tables

Photographic archive

Before and after


Sant'Antonio Abate has been Ello's main church since the 16th century. The bell tower, Romanesque in appearance, dates back to this period and incorporates the materials of the previous church of San Giovanni Battista into the structure. The appearance of the top of the bell tower is typically Lombard, common from Brianza to Valtellina. The church was rebuilt in the seventeenth century and enlarged in the eighteenth; the square in front is then created, with the fountain donated by the Annoni family in the 19th century. Inside is the Holy Crucifix of Ello, a valuable work of the sixteenth century. The Crucifix of Ello, intensely revered by the whole district, was exhibited until the twentieth century to ward off collective misfortunes such as great droughts.



The work was aimed at not compromising the text in its documentary value; invasive removal operations of existing additions have been excluded unless these are absolutely incongruent or harmful to the original fabric.



The restoration work also involved the interiors of the church of Sant'Antonio Abate in Ello. It was divided into lots and lasted for a total of three years. It started in February 2013 and ended in June 2016.

Some of the most important operations:

  • Cleaning of wall paintings with wishab rubber, agarose, surfactant, ammonium carbonate and steam.

  • The marble elements were cleaned by applying a gel based on AB57 and with the use of small toothbrushes and brushes.

  • Cleaning of the golden parts with pads soaked in ammonium carbonate and alkaline cleaner.

  • Grouting and integration using mortars calibrated on the basis of the original mortars.

  • Integration of the decorative parts of the furniture integrated and made in lime paint and natural pigments for false frames and backgrounds.

  • Cleaning of the wooden and steel elements with a weakly alkaline cleaner.

  • Pictorial integration of the wall murals.

  • Reconstruction of the decorative elements carried out in imitation of the original.

Impresa di Restauro Magistri S.R.L,  Sant'Antonio Abate.JPG
Impresa di Restauro Magistri S.R.L,  Sant'Antonio Abate.JPG


SANT'ANTONIO ABATE IN PRAYER - Giovanbattista Airaghi, 1838


The canvas has a rectangular wooden frame in a strong state of expansion and a box frame with simple moldings enriched in the corners by phytomorphic decorations in relief. The canvas showed signs of previous nailing along the edges, a yellowing and opacification of the paint, and a strong chromatic alteration. The main interventions carried out on the canvas concern dry cleaning for the removal of incoherent surface deposits using brushes and a vacuum cleaner, an anti-woodworm treatment for preventive purposes, the chromatic integration with watercolor colors applied with a glaze and a final application of protective varnish based on Regal Varnish Gloss and Matt resin.



Blessed Virgin Mary with the child between the holy apostles James and Philip, XVI century, Bernardino Lanino


The intervention carried out on the canvas represented an interesting moment of study both of the executive theory of the author and of the events that brought the work to us. The painting has undergone massive restoration work that is extremely visible on the canvas and unfortunately with questionable aesthetic results. Much attention was paid to the cognitive phase of the work, carrying out chemical diagnostic investigations and multispectral imaging. Much of the work involved the removal and remaking of the canvas inserts, which appeared to be badly positioned. The grouting was limited to the surfaces where the new inserts were made  and to small lacks scattered over the entire surface. Cleaning has always been calibrated according to the area of the object of intervention. After the completion of this stage  the discoloration of the incarnates of the central figures was evident,  strongly tending to yellow, we continued gradually opening cleaning blocks in those areas. The canvas was abraded


Painting on canvas San Carlo Borromeo in Adoration of the cross, 1863, Luigi Riva


The canvas did not show any elevation of the pictorial surface but cracks on the whole surface. The paint was slightly altered with widespread worm-eatings. The frame had gaps in the preparation and the leaf. The anchor  to the original media is still efficient.

The canvas was disassembled  as after careful evaluation  emerges the need for further tensioning, dry cleaning, consolidation of the pictorial surface and integration performed through the use of water-based watercolors.


St. Luigi Gonzaga in adoration of the Cross,  1873, Luigi Riva

The canvas, after an accurate pre-intervention analysis, appeared to have a thin pictorial film, a crack spread over the entire surface of the painting and slight color changes.

An accurate dry cleaning process was carried out, consolidation of the pictorial surface, removal of the restoration paints and altered retouching, integration carried out through the use of water-based watercolors and reintegration and final protection.

Impresa di Restauro Magistri S.R.L,  Chisa di Sant'Antonio Abate, Ello.jpeg


The wall paintings dating back to 1908-09 were in a poor state of conservation, mainly affected by a conspicuous deposit of dust that hid the bright colors. On some backgrounds there were opacifications and whitening probably produced by the alteration of some over-allowed material.
Work performed: the surface of the paintings was cleaned,  from the beginning with dry methods (vacuum cleaner and wishab sponges) to subsequently wet, using different methods depending on the area involved in the intervention. Deionized water supported with agar agar was used, and where it proved necessary to deepen cleaning, deionized water and triammonium citrate. Subsequently, it was possible to proceed with the sealing of gaps and cracks, using sand with granulometry and characteristics similar to the original mixture present in the neighboring areas and, as a binder, hydraulic lime in suitable percentages for processing.


The door was covered with several overlapping layers of waxing, which made the original surface gray and yellow. The wooden surface showed phenomena of cracks and small gaps. There was a punctual phenomenon of degradation by xylophagous insects in the lower part. The surface condition of the hardware showed oxidation phenomena and the loss of efficiency of some fixing nails. Work performed: Treatment of hardware and metal fastening devices; the metal elements were treated by brushing with brass brushes and subsequent application of an oxidation converter product; the deteriorated or incompatible elements with the window frame have been replaced with elements in style.
Elimination of wax layers present on wooden surfaces. Realization of grouting on small and medium-sized gaps by applying two-component epoxy resin Balsite, with attention to the characteristics of stability and elasticity, and subsequent smoothing with fine abrasives. Consolidation of the wooden portions damaged or affected by the aggression of xylophagous insects by soaking a syringe and brush with acrylic resin in solution in a suitable solvent and in an adequate concentration.
Reconstruction of non-recoverable wooden portions by removing them and making appropriately shaped dowels with wooden essence identical to the original; the gluing was carried out with class D4 glues.


The surface showed extensive powdery deposits and in some cases residues of the old protection and / or maintenance treatments visibly yellowed. The pictorial film and the gilded leaf frames showed punctual lifts and lacks. The structure is made up of panels placed side by side but not tapped. At the junction there were cracks mainly due to wood shrinkage phenomena. So the lacquer was visually impaired. Processes performed: Dusting with soft brushes and vacuum cleaners, aqueous cleaning with hydroalcoholic solutions added to surfactants.
The fixing of the pictorial film and on the gilding flakes was carried out by hand infiltration of an acrylic adhesive.
Grouting the most evident cracks and joints with balsite and paste putty. In some cases, battens were made between the panels, in order to fill the space created between the elements.
The integration of the gaps present on the gilding and the ground surface was carried out with French paste putty. Pictorial integration of the gaps on the background surface was carried out by means of precise glazing with water-based enamels, finished with beeswax.


Wooden Sculpture XVI Century


The state of conservation of the work did not raise any concerns, but the superficial deposit layer was evident that opacified the surface, weighing down the general chromatism. Yes, I opted for a general cleaning, extended on all surfaces of the product, for  filling of some small cracks and retouching of color.

WhatsApp Image 2022-04-08 at 10.07.09.jpeg




Video documentation of the restoration operations carried out within the Sant'Antonio Abate site.


Video of the intervention in the church of Sant'Antonio Abate.





superintendence for architectural heritage

and for the landscape


Parish of

Sant'Antonio Abate

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