Cleopatra

FINISHED

ArtistGiampietrino
MediaOil on Panel
Datec. 1515
Dimensions30" x 21"
LocationAllen Memorial Art Museum - Oberlin College

The artist known as Giampietrino may have been Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli (active until about 1540). Giampietrino is listed by Leonardo da Vinci as one of his pupils and the master's influence is apparent in this painting. Another Cleopatra, almost identical to this painting, is found in the collection of the Louvre.

Treatment

The painting had undergone extensive restoration in the past. The panel itself had been planed down, probably because of extensive woodworm damage and attached to a mahogany support panel which was, in turn, cradled. Areas of damage had been filled, inpainted or overpainted to hide loss of original paint. A thick varnish layer had darkened over time obscuring many of the details of the composition.

All of the later paint and varnish layers were removed to reveal more of the original. The paint surface was varnished with a stable, easily reversible synthetic resin. Losses were filled and inpainted with conservation grade materials. Details in the version of Cleopatra in the Louvre were used to reconstruct missing sections. The painting became the focus of a research project which involved examination with infra-red reflectography, and ultraviolet light taking paint samples for cross-section analysis and preparing x-rays of the panel.

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