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 You can learn about the most interesting conversation work performed by the Art Conservation Department of the Russian Museum in 2014 here...>>>

More than four and half thousands masterpieces were conserved and restored in the Russian Museum in 2014. We would like to show you the most interesting restoration objects.


 2014 Annual Report
of the Art Conservation Department...>>>

Art Conservation in the Russian Museum | Icon conservator Rudolf Kesarev | Conservation of Russian Icons of the XVI Centure/

 A book has just been published about a wonderful man, Sergei Golubev (1947-2008), a conservator of Old Russian painting, who dedicated 40 years of his life to the Conservation Department of the Russian Museum. 

Sergei Golubev developed and implemented in his every day work a new method for icon conservation, one that largely guaranteed the preservation of the original paint layers while also revealing the icon, layer by layer. Several generations of conservators went through his school. Questions about the medium and art of icon painting, the history of existence, and the iconography of works of Byzantine and Old Russian painting, including new aspects of the theory and history of medieval art, are reflected in his legacy.

Editors: O.V. Golubeva, M.G. Malkin, N.V. Pivovarova

Сергей Голубев - Sergei Golubev - conservator icons реставратор древнерусской живописи (иконы) Русского музея

 A thorough preservation process has began for the round wooden 1533 Ambon from the St. Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod, a unique monument of Old Russian art.

The work is being carried out as a part of preparations for the exhibition Emperor Nicholas II and the Department of Christian Antiquities of Emperor Alexander III: The 100th Anniversary of the Archive  of Monuments of Iconography and Church Antiquities. The first part of restoration was exhibit at the exhibition Autumn 2014 at the Russian Museum.

Currently, the removing and labeling parts, and working on the preservation of carved figures, and panels, and numerous decorative details of the Ambon’s interior design was finished.

Ambon from the St. Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod --Реставрация Амвона в отделе реставрации Русского музея.

 At the Russian Museum from 21-26 April 2014, there was a research seminar on the topic of “Preservation and Restoration of Textiles in Museum Collections.”

As a part of the seminar, researchers, conservators, and restorers from museums in the Russian Federation met and discussed pressing problems of the contemporary state of art conservation, and the study of textiles with their colleagues from the art conservation departments of the Russian Museum, the State Hermitage, the Russian Ethnographic Museum, and the Museum of the History of Religion.

 On 9 April 2014, the restorers of the Old Russian Painting Studio presented seven icons from the mid-14th century from the Assumption Cathedral of the Large Tikhvin Monastery in the process of being restored at a session of the Art Conservation Council of the Russian Museum

The restorers talked about the next stage of uncovering the icon from the many layers of later additions and varnishes. This painstaking work has been ongoing since 2008, when, as a part of preparations for the exhibition The Art of Old Tikhvin, several icons from the mid-14th century arrived at the studio from the divine iconostasis series.

Currently, they are working on uncovering icons, among which is one large-sized icon from the cathedral’s series of iconostasis.

Реставрация икон из иконостаса Тихвинского собора. В процессе реставрации. Реставратор Рудольф Кесарев

 The complete conservation of Grigory Ugryumov’s (1764-1823) painting Test of Yan Usmar’s Strength is finished. The restoration was conducted as a part of preparation for an exhibition at the Russian Museum in honor of Urgyumov’s 150th birthday that took place Autumn 2014.

Ведущий реставратор Александр Минин за работой по удалению старых записей на картине Г.И. Угрюмова "Испытание силы Яна Усмаря".   Фото 2014 г.

In accordance with the task set forth by the Conversation Committee of the Russian Museum, after a thorough technological analysis and a photographic survey of the painting’s condition, the painted layer and primed layer were strengthened, all dirt was removed from the front surface of the painting, and the varnish was restored. After these steps, the painstaking work of thinning the severely yellowed varnish in stages until it is the thinnest transparent film possible. During the process of this work, numerous old additions that distort the artist’s painting will be removed. The final stage will be adding color to areas that have been lost and covering the painting with a protective layer of new varnish.

Картина Григория Угрюмова "Испытание силы Яна Усмаря". В процессе реставрации

Test of Yan Usmar’s Strength, a painting by Grigory Ugryumov, during the conservation process: the old brown varnish is gradually thinned, revealing numerous additions that were done in the place of original paint layers that had been lost...

 You can learn about the most interesting conversation work performed by the Art Conservation Department of the Russian Museum in 2013 here...>>>


 2013 Annual Report of the Art Conservation Department...>>>


 On 25 December 2013, the governor of St. Petersburg, Georgy Poltavchenko, awarded Evgenia Shchukina, the head of the Mixed Media Painting Conservation laboratory, with the honorary title of Honored Cultural Worker of the Russian Federation.

The Mixed Media Painting Conservation lab was created in 1990. Currently, four art conservators work in the lab, two of whom are certified in the Highest Conservation Category. Among the most interesting recent works they have worked on is the conservation of Konstantin Korovin’s mural series.

25 декабря 2013 года губернатор Санкт-Петербурга Г.С. Полтавченко поздравил заведующую сектором реставрации живописи смешанных техник Е.Ю.Щукину с присвоением почетного звания "Заслуженный работник культуры Российской федерации". Evgenia Shchukina - head of the Mixed Media Conservation Laboratory

 June 2013

Nine leading art conservators from our department were added to the State Certification Committee of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation for the Certification of Specialists in the Preservation of Objects of Cultural Heritage. (Click here for a complete list of members of the Certification Commission.


 A special prize in the Museum Olympics competition was awarded to Russian Museum conservators Ivan Bezsolnitsin, Andrei Bogomolov, Nina Rusakova, and Evgenia Shchukina.

The ceremony of announcing the results of the prestigious competition occurred in the Throne Room of the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo on 3 November 2011.

Museum Olympics if the first yearly professional museum award in Russia. It was established in 2009 by the Committee on Culture and the Inter-Institutional Museum Council of St. Petersburg. The jury is comprised of leading representation of the museum community and the heads of the city’s major museums.

Left to right: host, Nina Rusakova, Andrei Bogomolov, Ivan Bezsolnitsin, Evgenia Shchukina

 Extensive conservation work on Dmitry Levitsky’s Smolny Pupils  series of paintings has completed.

Levitsky’s Smolny Pupils portraits came to the Russian Museum on 17 August 1917 from the Peterhof Grand Palace in poor condition. The head conservator of the Russian Museum, P.I. Neradovsky, remembered, “When the paintings were taken off the walls, we saw that the canvases were wet, and the reverse sides of the canvases were densely covered with mold...  On the facing sides, it was observed that the paint layers were peeling.” In short order, the necessary conservation measures were carried out so that the paintings would be in exhibition condition. Subsequently, the question of the condition of the portraits’ preservation was raised several times. A full conservation, however, was not done, according to archival documents from the Russian Museum from 1933, 1939, 1946, and 1985. The Conservation Council of the museum returned to the question of a full conservation of Smolny Pupils only in 2008. After a thorough study of the paintings, the historical decision was made to have the portraits undergo a complete conservation process, which was completed only in 2010.

Irina Kornyakova at work on the portrait of G. Alymova by artist Dmitry Levitsky.

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