Collection XVII-XVIII century plaster casts from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando
Dating of the building: 2001–2005.
Applicant: Ramón González de Amezua. Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando.
Reason for the award :
Por la restauración y conservación de esta colección y su presentación en seis nuevas salas del Museo de la Academia. Igualmente se premia el rigor científico y técnico con que se ha efectuado la restauración de una de las mejores colecciones de su género en el mundo.
With this Medal, the historical value of the collection is recognized, from the acquisitions made by Velázquez in Italy for King Philip IV, the castings that King Charles III brought with him from his palace in Portici, to the donation made by the painter Antón Rafael Mengs, from his collection for Ferdinand VI.
The purpose of this project has been the conservation and restoration of a collection of castings from the 17th and 18th centuries, kept in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando. An essential part of this collection was acquired by the painter Diego Velázquez for King Philip IV during his second trip to Italy between 1648 and 1651. This collection, commissioned, at that moment, by the Alcázar, current Royal Palace, meant that most of the original sculptures were restored as early as the 18th century and later. This fact gives a unique documentary value to the casts preserved in Madrid. Another significant group of castings was the group made for King Charles III in the workshop of the Royal Palace of Portici in 1764 and sent to Madrid a year later. It could be considered a unique collection in Europe since it includes casts of sculptures found in the Herculaneum, with access to the originals being very restricted. The third important episode in the history of the collection was the legacy that the painter Antón Rafael Mengs left to King Ferdinand VI; more than a hundred casts that the artist of Central European origin had in his workshops in Rome and Florence.
The restoration methods, including analysis of plaster, resins, pigments, or binders provide excellent information for the study of the techniques used in Italy in the 17th and 18th centuries. The scintigraphic research has revealed its internal structure and the reinforcements used, as well as the current state of conservation. The final result of this project was the opening of six new museum rooms to exhibit this collection.