Case study of a 19th century gypsum cast of the Parthenon Frieze
This thesis is a case study of a 19th century gypsum cast of block WXI of the Parthenon Frieze. The gypsum cast is part of a continuous collection of eleven gypsum casts of the west part of the Frieze, casts of the blocks WI - WXI. The collection is housed in the Conservation Department at the University of Gothenburg. The collection has no accessible documentation about ownership or location. The origin and history of the collection is not fully known. The gypsum casts are covered with a cracking and flaking yellow grey paint. Some of the blocks are very dirty and have losses in the gypsum. In the study, material analysis of block WXI is combined with archive research to identify the materials present and their historical significance. The aim of the archive research is also to strengthen the provenance of the collection. Visual examination, cross section microscopy, XRF-, FTIR-, and UV- analysis is used to identify the composition of the paints and gypsums present. Archival documents mention three occasions when materials are added to the object. In 1906-1908 the gypsum collection was painted because it was sooty, in 1914 gypsum and paint was added because of a new mounting, and in 1960 repairs and repainting was done due to relocation of the collection. Both the paint added in 1914 and the paint added in 1960 are oil based and contain zinc white. The archive research confirms the collection was acquired by Göteborgs Museum in 1892 as part of a gypsum cast collection financed by a donation from colonel Paul Melin. The Parthenon gypsums were bought from D. Brucciani, London, who made casts for the British Museum. The archive research also proves the collections path from Göteborgs Museum to its present location at the University. The gathered information can provide a basis for establishing documents about ownership and location, as well a basis for a conservation treatment plan for the collection.
Uppsats för avläggande av filosofie kandidatexamen i Kulturvård, Konservatorprogrammet 15 hp Institutionen för kulturvård Göteborgs universitet 2019:15