Restoration of a Plaster  (gypsum) relief


In 2016, I was approached by the Fire Bigrade Department of  Amsterdam and the Neighbourhood, with the question of, whether I could restore an old plasterboard.

It was a picture of Jan van der Heyden, a painter of occupation and famous for his many cityscapes. Besides art painter Jan van der Heyden was also an inventor!

He improved the water pumps used to pump canal water into fire. Furthermore, he is the inventor of the Fire Hose, (initially made of sailcloth and leather, later from hemp). This was a revolutionary invention because before, leather and copper buckets had to be passed manually.

He further developed a better city lantern for the city of Amsterdam, which was also placed in Haarlem, Groningen and Berlin.

Tsar Peter the Great bought some fire extinguishers from him, for the city of Petersburg.

Furthermore, this fire extinguisher has been exported to various European countries up to Japan!

The Restoration

A custom-cut sheet of birch multiplex (16mm) is chosen as a carrier to glue all loose parts. The plaster parts are impregnated on the backside (diluted Evacon-R). Then glued to the multiplexing plate (polymax flexible glue kit).

The seams are filled with plaster with slightly different color, for inspection and information, for any  later restoration.

The embossment was lookalike “Bronze” painted,  and I have taken over this finish, using its various colors of gold and brown paint, patched together

The result

Finally, I bought a semi-antique list on an antique market, which I found suitable for this artwork, and tailored it,  for this relief. This was a request from the client but also better  for the protection of the work of art for the future. ( a.o. Exhibition.)

Restauratie Atelier Picard is lid van de beroepsvereniging Restauratoren Nederland