In St Sofia of Kyiv, the distemper painting of the 17th century, located in the Northern Gallery of the monument, was recently restored. The last restoration of these paintings was carried out almost 50 years ago — in 1972. Now experts are trying to restore the paintings and preserve them for future generations.
This is reported by “Vechirny Kyiv”.
Vadim Shevchuk and Dorat Kaporikov, specialists of the scientific and restoration workshop of the National Reserve “St Sofia of Kyiv”, are working on the restoration of glue paintings under the supervision of head Anatoly Ostapchuk. Especially for work on the site, scaffolding was installed at the desired height, and special lighting was placed.
“The restoration process will have several stages. First, we investigate the condition of the monument. Subsequently, we remove dust and other contaminants. Then we fix it and wash it. If necessary, we restore the lost items. After that, the paintings are tinted and covered with a protective layer. This is a classic process that we use all the time. And the current restoration is no exception,” explains fine art restorer Dorat Kaporikov.
Experts say that this part of the ancient cathedral is very interesting and still not fully studied. Currently, it is known that this pediment was created in the time of Metropolitan Petro Mohyla (1633-1647).
“It is really very exciting to work at this facility. Lots of original details. For example, we see that in addition to purely architectural elements in the form of a pediment, there are paintings that seem to imitate various architectural ornamental details — the capital, cherubs,” says fine art restorer Vadym Shevchuk.
Restoration of the northern pediment is a planned restoration that will last about a month. But on condition that no force majeure occurs during the work. After all, as restorers say, a monument is a living organism that needs very careful care and does not tolerate haste.
Overall, St. Sophia Cathedral harmoniously combines various types of monumental painting — 260 square meters of mosaics and about 3000 square meters of frescoes, as well as glue and oil paintings of the 17th and 18th-19th centuries. In order to preserve the shrine as much as possible, permanent liturgies have not been held within the walls of Sofia for a long time with the exception of major holidays or events of national significance.
“Today, the cathedral has many frescoes and oil paintings from the 11th to the 19th century, which are taken care of by the staff of our workshop. This is an ongoing process, and almost always restoration work continues in the monument. The latest restoration is ongoing and planned for this year. We carry out work at our own expense. We plan to complete it by spring,” Vadym Kirilenko, first deputy general director of the National Reserve St Sofia of Kyiv, said in a comment to Vechirny Kyiv.
In addition to these works, according to him, in 2021, they also plan to start restoring the dome of the refectory church and complete the restoration of the Consistory.