Russian icons have been used for anagogical purposes for church prayer and personal use. With these understandings, the conservator is often more conservative with respect to their treatment. The fact that they were carried and transported as necessary certainly led to inadvertent damage. But this type of damage becomes part of the character of each piece. The two images below represent just such a discrepancy where one image is preserved to the edges while the other shows more typical damage from constant handling and use.
23 x 17
9 x 11
As an artist, the Neapolitan Salvatore Postiglione (1861-1906) would well have understood the hours required for training with only an indefinite possibility of future success. An image of artistic study will always carry an autobiographical touch. The wonderful composition on the left brings the viewer into the scene as if we are musical voyeurs participating in a solemn moment. The awkward unfamiliar hand position is cleverly presented. The right image, "Death of a Saint" has similar abilities to include the viewer. A space has been opened compositionally for just this purpose. All four paintings are owned by the Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, Michigan.
Barry Bauman, "2006 Participating Institutions", http://www.baumanconservation.com/homefs.html
Death of a Saint
9 x 11
Girl With a Violin
36 x 44