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The Lamentation

Johann F. Michael Rottmayr

The Lamentation, 16th Century

Oil on Canvas


Rottmayr, one of the most celebrated artists of the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the 17th and 18th centuries, is best known for his large-scale religious and secular decorative themes. His baroque style incorporates intense colors with expressive gestures and poses, often forgoing correct anatomy and perspective for dramatic effect. Rottmayr also had a talent for incorporating architectural elements into his paintings, providing a solid and fitting setting for his figures. After studying extensively in Italy, Rottmayr returned to Vienna where he was recognized for his work, earning prestigious commissions and a noble title. 

Condition of the Artwork (2009): 

There has been extensive inpainting to abrasions in the torso of Christ and to paint losses above his head. Many other areas of abrasions have not been inpainted: in his white cloth and in her blue robes. Several mended and filled tears in the white and blue paint have not been inpainted. Many small paint losses and abrasions are scattered overall. Some areas of dark paint and shadows appear to have been leached of medium in previous cleaning and are no longer properly saturated. The synthetic resin finishing varnish is somewhat glossy, but does not saturate the paint layer particularly well. 

Conservation Treatment Proposed: 

  • The early synthetic resin does not saturate the paint layer well. There are extensive abrasions, large areas of which have been inpainted to reduce their visibility. If possible reduce varnish in dark areas of paint so that they may be better saturated with a small molecular varnish.
  • Removal of varnish in heavily inpainted areas is not recommended because the inpainting would also be removed.
  • Apply a better saturating, conservation quality varnish overall.
  • Inpaint abrasions, tears and small paint losses with conservation quality materials. Carry out extensive inpainting of abrasions in whites, blues, and any unsaturated blanched paint that may remain some blanched paint too in the background.
  • Apply a conservation quality finish varnish that is a better saturator.
  • All materials used will be appropriate and conservation quality. All work will adhere to the highest standards of the field.

Estimated Cost of Treatment:  $11,500.00