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Uruguayan Mural Painting heritage: Patrimonial activation, scientific catalogation and its socio historic repercussion

María Jesús Guirado, Andrea Lage Hermida, Virginia Santamarina Campos, Dolores Julia Yusa Marco and Mercedes Sánchez Pons

Abstracts

This poster shows part of the results of the investigation for the projectPlanning and establishing an inclusive cultural policy: Uruguayan Contemporary mural Art as a tool for sustainable heritage”. Four mural paintings by artists Eloy Boschi, Miguel Ángel Zelayeta, Demetrio Uruchúa y Esteban Garino were analyzed by means of Light Microscopy (LM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) to obtain more information about the technical and historic influences of these particular works of art.

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This work has been performed by members the Research Micro-cluster (MCI) “Globalization, tourism and heritage: towards the sustainable management of the past as future” at the Polytechnic University of Valencia (member of the VLC Campus of International Excellence). Financial support is gratefully acknowledged from the Spanish “I+D+I MICINN” project HAR2012-32060.The authors wish to thank Mr. M.Planes i Insausti and Dr. J.L. Moya López, the technical supervisors responsible for the Electron Microscopy Service of the Universitat Politècnica de València.

Introduction

1The investigation that has taken place within the CRBC department to complete the student dissertations, is part of the project “Diseño e implementación de políticas culturales inclusivas: el muralismo uruguayo contemporáneo como herramienta de activación patrimonial sustentable” [ref. HAR2012-32060], funded  by the  “DIRECCIÓN GENERAL DE INVESTIGACIÓN CIENTÍFICA Y TÉCNICA del Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad”

Project objective

2The main objective of this project is to promote and activate the cultural significance of the mural painting production created in Uruguay during the 20th centuries as representative spaces and identity holders of key elements for achieving a sustainable social and economic development.

3The dissertation projects show the results of the investigation undertaken to CHARACTERIZE THE MATERIALS used in the most representative works of several Uruguayan painters by means of Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy, Light Microscopy (LM), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and X-ray Diffraction (XRD).

Dissertation Objective

4This research aims to establish the importance of Maritime Art in the development of Montevideo city and in the 20th Century Uruguayan society. The painting techniques used on the Montevideo murals will be studied through several analytical methods in order to determine the methodology the artists used. The investigation will compare Eloy Boschi and M. A. Zelayetta murals to define the similarities and differences of their mural creations.

5The mural “El Mercurio” (1972) placed in the Montevideo Harbor is an example of the conceptual influences left by the Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros in Uruguay.

Fig.  1 “El Mercurio” (1972)

Fig.  1 “El Mercurio” (1972)

Mural painting by Eloy Boschi placed at the Montevideo Harbor.

Credits Project “Diseño e implementación de políticas culturales inclusivas: el muralismo uruguayo contemporáneo como herramienta de activación patrimonial sustentable”.

6Analytical examination of the work allows for a better understanding of the methodology and technical approaches the artist undertook on the mural.

  • 1. Plate. Cross section (x20) and X-ray image. The results confirm the use of calcium carbonate and silica in the ground layer.

  • 2. Plate . Detail photographed in raking light showing that the drawing cartoon has been transfer to the surface by means of incision lines with a pointy stick. The differences in color saturation reveal that some areas might have been retouched after the fresco hardened (secco retouching)

  • 3. Plate. Detail photographed in normal and raking light that enables to appreciate the boundaries of a work field (giornata)

  • 4. Plate. (x40 magnification) Cross section revealing the different coatings: 1. Ground layer of plaster composed of coarse grains. 2. The above layer of paint shows green and yellow pigment grains embedded within the ground.

7Miguel Angel Zelayetta, mural (1964) placed within the “Administración Nacional del Puerto de Montevideo“depicts the Uruguayan historic events led by the General Artigas.

Fig. 2 “El Éxodo” (1964)

Fig. 2 “El Éxodo” (1964)

Credits Project “Diseño e implementación de políticas culturales inclusivas: el muralismo uruguayo contemporáneo como herramienta de activación patrimonial sustentable”.

8The analytical examination confirms that the artist also used the fresco technique on its manufacturing.

  • 1. Plate. Cross section (x50) and X-ray image. The results confirm the use of calcium carbonate and silica in the ground layer.

  • 2. Plate. Cross section (x50) particles of silica and pigment embedded together.

  • 3. Plate. Analysis under raking light reveal the changes in the composition the artist made on the mural.

  • 4. Plate. As part of the scientific catalogation, colorimetric studies have been undertaken on the murals. The process involves recollecting color data of selected points that will be kept for future references.

Dissertation Objective

9The painting samples taken during the 2011 campaign were characterized by LM, SEM/EDX and FTIR-ATR, by the Uruguayan Muralists of the 20th century. The study takes into account the emerging for industrial products to be also used as artist materials.

10The investigation shows the scientific catalogation results carried on selected murals under a formal, conceptual and technological point of view.

11The scientific characterization from the paintings samples taken during the 2011 campaign, were analyzed by means of a physical-chemical analysis, result of a morphological and chemical study LM, SEM/EDX, FTIR.

12The mural “La mujer compañera del hombre” ( 1941) is the first significant wall painting by Demetrio Urruchúa. The fresco shows the influences by the Social realism movement and is dedicated to the fundamental female existence.

  • 1. Plate. Cross section (x50) and X-ray image. The results confirm the use of calcium carbonate, calcium sulphate and silica in the ground layer.

  • 2. Plate. Cross section (x40) X-ray image. The results confirm the use of mineral pigments in the above layer.

13- “Obreros de la construcción” (1964) painted by Esteban Garino is an example of Uruguayan mural painting where synthetic materials were used on its manufacturing.

  • 1. Plate. Cross section (x40) and X-ray image. The results confirm the use of products from industrial materials.

  • 2. Plate . Detail photographed in normal light shows that the mural has been retouched at a later stage (probably during an old restoration).

Conclusion

14The results of the investigation enable the achievement of a new context for the process of material characterization allowing the students to use part of the skills acquired during the program. It also emphasizes a new aspect by which the techniques and methods applied are closely related to the socio-historic events that surrounded the artists.

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Attachment

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List of illustrations

Title Fig.  1 “El Mercurio” (1972)
Caption Mural painting by Eloy Boschi placed at the Montevideo Harbor.
Credits Credits Project “Diseño e implementación de políticas culturales inclusivas: el muralismo uruguayo contemporáneo como herramienta de activación patrimonial sustentable”.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceroart/docannexe/image/4430/img-1.jpg
File image/jpeg, 1.0M
Title Fig. 2 “El Éxodo” (1964)
Credits Credits Project “Diseño e implementación de políticas culturales inclusivas: el muralismo uruguayo contemporáneo como herramienta de activación patrimonial sustentable”.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceroart/docannexe/image/4430/img-2.jpg
File image/jpeg, 2.7M
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References

Electronic reference

María Jesús Guirado, Andrea Lage Hermida, Virginia Santamarina Campos, Dolores Julia Yusa Marco and Mercedes Sánchez Pons, « Uruguayan Mural Painting heritage: Patrimonial activation, scientific catalogation and its socio historic repercussion », CeROArt [Online], HS | 2014, Online since 08 September 2014, connection on 15 December 2017. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/ceroart/4430

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About the authors

María Jesús Guirado

María Jesús Guirado Ruano obtained a Bsc (Hons) in Restoration and Conservation at the London Metropolitan University after, spent several years working on restoration projects in London (UK) and Seattle (USA). In 2012 starts an MA in Restoration and Conservation at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (UPV). During the final dissertation of the course she collaborated for the project "Social function of the Uruguayan murals of the 20th century as a vehicle and model of sustainable heritage activation”.

Andrea Lage Hermida

Andrea Lage Hermida graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Pontevedra (Spain) with a specialty in painting and graphic techniques and obtaining an MA in Restoration and Conservation at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (UPV) in 2014.

Virginia Santamarina Campos

Dra. Virginia Santamarina Campos. Professor of the undergraduate and postgraduate programs at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (UPV). Member of the group I + D + I "Sustainable management of natural and cultural heritage" Coordinator of the Micro-Cluster of Investigation (MCI) "Globalization, tourism and heritage: towards a sustainable management of the past as a future" and the main investigator of the project "Social function of the Uruguayan murals of the 20th century as a vehicle and model of sustainable heritage activation".

Dolores Julia Yusa Marco

Dra. Dolores Julia Yusa Marco. Professor in the Department of Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage at the UPV. She graduated on Chemistry from the Universidad de Valencia and received a Ph.D degree in chemistry from the same University. She is conducting a research program for the characterization and identification of materials found in artworks and materials used in specific conservation treatments.

Mercedes Sánchez Pons

Dra. Mercedes Sánchez Pons. PhD in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage from the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (UPV), is a researcher at the Instituto Universitario de Restauración del Patrimonio (IRP) de la UPV, and a permanent professor in the Conservation and Restoration Department at the UPV, teaching in the Bachelor and Master program in subjects of conservation of mural paintings and new techniques and materials in modern and contemporary murals.

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Copyright

Licence Creative Commons
CeROArt – Conservation, exposition, restauration d'objets d'arts est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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