The following article is the first attempt to analyze and systematize the sculptural images of St. John of Nepomuk in the late XVIII-XIX centuries in Galicia, determine the accurate location to suggest the authorship of the work and develop a restoration program to put into effect work on the monument.
Having conducted a stylistic inquiry, we can say that the author was a sculptor Jan Nepomuckski from the village of Velyka Vyshenky. He was under the influence of such Lviv sculptors as Peter and Matthew Poleiowski. Compositional techniques, manner of interpretation of folds, and plasticity testify to close cooperation with these authors. The similarity to the mode of Peter Poleiowski is especially noticeable. Matthew Poleiowski was a talented organizer, had great authority and performed an impressive number of works. He organized other sculptors under his guidance, and there is a suggestion that Ivan Poleiovsky was the leading one. Therefore, probably since Matthew signed contracts for the work, we see the work of the whole shop, and one of these sculptors was the author of sculptures, Jan Nepomuk, from the villages of Velyka Vyshenka and Tovstolug.
The sculpture under restoration suffered significant damage and loss. There is no pedestal on which it had initially located. But the round column remained smooth and without decor. From the elbow, along with the hands, both hands are missing. Also, parts of the folds of clothing are missing. There are numerous chips and cracks. The saint's face is barely visible. A traditional attribute of the saint, the metal halo, is also missing. Although, we found traces of them, such as mounting slots on the sculpture.
Before restoring the white stone sculpture of Jan Nepomuk from the village of Velyka Vyshenky, we developed the program. It includes the following steps: 1. To execute the photo-fixation of the object, make all necessary measurements and drawings. 2. To carry out a preliminary inspection to assess the damage and condition of the stone. 3. To determine the sequence of works on stone conservation. 4. To perform stone cleaning by dry method with brushes. 5. To clean the stone with a steam generator; 6. To clean the neck and head part from the remnants of cement with the help of metal tools, so-called preliminary restoration and pre-moisten the concrete with water. 7. Take measures to salt the stone with cellulose compresses and distilled water. 8. To perform structural strengthening of the stone with silicon-organic elements. 9. Glue the head and part of Christ with epoxy-based material from TENOX. 10. To supplement the lost items of clothing with mineral restoration solution. 11. To make several elements, such as hands, lost parts of the figure of Christ from plasticine. To make a plaster mould and reconstruct them from artificial stone. 12. To strengthen the structure of the stone with silicon-organic substance. 13. To cover the work with a biocidal solution of long-lasting action. 14. To perform sculpting of wood. 15. To conduct hydrophobization of the work. 16. To develop recommendations to organize the exhibition of works, providing optimal storage conditions.
The white stone sculpture of Jan Nepomuk from the village of Velyka Vyshenka is an invaluable example of the late Baroque masters of the Lviv School of Sculpture, created by Ivan Poleiowski. However, today it is impossible to chronicle this. In the process of restoration of the Jan Nepomuk Sculpture, we used established and original restoration technologies and methods. It may allow displaying this sacred work as an object for prayer and worship. We would recommend exhibiting it under the cover to protect from the aggressive impact of precipitation.
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