One of the most beautiful royal villas in Europe, on a par with Versailles, with which it competes in beauty: we are talking about the Royal Villa of Monza, a neoclassical style palace built in Monza by the Habsburgs, as a private residence, during the Austrian domination of the eighteenth century.
Built by the Habsburgs in the 18th century, during the Austrian domination, it became a royal palace with Napoleon and a summer residence with the Savoy, the Villa Reale began its history in 1771, with the arrival in Milan of the governor Ferdinand of Habsburg, son of empress Maria Theresa of Austria, who promised to organize a real court that would gravitate around the Lombard capital, transforming it definitively into the capital. The task of building the Royal Villa of Monza was entrusted to the imperial architect Giuseppe Piermarini in 1777 and was completed in just three years. An example of neoclassical architecture, the building has a body structure with three main bodies arranged in a U shape that delimit the court of honor, closed by two cubic buildings from which the wings of the service buildings branch off.
AREAS OF INTERVENTION
V ANO CS20 (North and South Wall). Restoration of oil paintings on canvas depicting putti in a bad state of conservation. North Wall: Putti with book and globe; South Wall: Putti with canaries and dogs.
COMPARTMENT CS23 (North and South Wall). Oil paintings on canvas depicting allegorical scenes with cherubs in a bad state of conservation. North Wall: Putti with fish; South Wall: Putti with musical instruments.
COMPARTMENT CS27 (North and South Wall). Oil paintings on canvas depicting allegorical scenes with cherubs in a bad state of conservation. North Wall: Putto with lightning bolts (Jupiter) on a fixed wooden frame; South Wall: Putto with arrows (Cupid) without frame, nailed directly to the wall.
COMPARTMENT CS3 (EsteOvest wall). Oil paintings on canvas depicting two views with ruins in a fairly bad state of conservation. Canvas with orthogonal weaving, probably made of linen or a blend of linen and hemp.
COMPARTMENT CS9. Oil painting on canvas spread with full-bodied brushstrokes in the central part and with thinner and more extended brushstrokes in the perimeter parts. Subject: "The Judgment of King Solomon".
COMPARTMENT CS17. Oil painting on canvas spread in thin and extended brushstrokes. Subject: mythological scene "Bacchus and Ariadne".
CANVAS ON VAULT CS09 ROOM
- Disassembly of the frame.
- Realization of a new frame that exactly takes the shape of the original. The material chosen is multilayer to avoid warping and twisting on long sections as much as possible.
- Having to support a large canvas and having to hang, it was necessary to fix the parts with plates and tensioners in order to guarantee support and solidity to the frame, but also minimum movements and elasticity over time.
- The entire structure was then further tensioned through the use of tie rods and sliding cables, passing through special loops fixed to the frame. This allowed an optimal tension even on the canvas.
- The canvas before any phase and its handling had been veiled in order to protect the pictorial film. The tissues were removed by moistening the surface with warm water, this phase allowed a first cleaning by exploiting the detergent component present in the collection used for the velinatura.
- Solvent cleaning of the painted surface to solubilize the altered paint completely, avoiding a prolonged mechanical action of the pad, not recommended due to lifting present throughout the painting.
- Consolidation of the pictorial surface by drawing up a collection and consequent ironing to allow reactivation and re-adhesion between the deep layers.
- Application of the perimeter bands made with polyester canvas and adhesive.
- Grouting of the gaps.
- Sampling of the retouching involved a first step in watercolor and subsequent use of varnish colors.
- Final varnish with a blend of gloss and matte varnish to ensure lasting protection to the painting.
- After having placed the painting in its original location by means of long through pins, the latter have been tied together to ensure greater safety and further increase the tension, to counteract the force of the weight that gravitates on the canvas.
- Filming in ultraviolet and infrared light of a portion of the walls and on the canvases.
- Removal of over-door panels and disassembly of the canvases from the frame.
- Accurate dry dusting on the front and back using soft bristle brushes has allowed the elimination of dust deposits and surface deteriogenic agents. The large patches that kept the edges of two tears present on the CS20 Nord together were also removed, in order to compensate them in a more contained way by gluing the edges with Polyamide.
- Cleaning of deposits after carrying out a test to verify that the canvas withstood the aqueous medium with a swab.
- Biocide treatment.
- Drafting of the consolidating agent.
- Execution of the vacuum to lower the cretto and consolidate the pictorial layers.
- Adhesion along the edges of perimeter strips of Ispra cloth.
- The gaps were filled with stucco.
- Sampling of the retouching included a first watercolor pass.
- Final touch up with varnish colors dissolved in final varnish.
- Final protective layer painting.
DURING THE WORK
Video documentation of the restoration operations carried out inside the Villa Reale construction site. With this short video we are pleased to share the joys of work in this splendid architectural paradise.