Challenges of Conservation and Restoration of a Medieval Wall Painting in the Church of Saint Leonard in Mala Ligojna and the Question of Its Authorship
Keywords:Gothic wall painting, conservation and restoration, secondary coating, consolidation
The Church of Saint Leonard is positioned on a hill above a small village called Mala Ligojna in central Slovenia. The Baroque architecture shows elements of medieval origins. Under many secondary whitewashes, fragments of an approximately 500-year-old secco wall painting were discovered. The conservation and restoration project started in the year 2020 by removing the secondary coatings of limewash on the northern wall. During the work process, some challenges regarding the original painting were addressed and possibilities for uncovering and consolidating preserved intonaco and the paint layer were explored. Research on the binder, pigments, and the substrate was executed, which led to the use of a specific consolidation system. During the work process we researched the authorship of the painting. The research included the review of different Gothic stencils, brocade and border patterns, and the system of transferring the drawings and identifying the incisions. The patterns show similarities to some known Gothic wall painters in Slovenia, who inherited their knowledge from the masters of the international Gothic style. By carrying out projects like this, the church’s history is being revealed and the knowledge of the medieval wall paintings in Slovenia is expanding.