What a privilege it was for Old World Restorations to be entrusted with the restoration and conservation treatment of an important icon and treasured gift from the Pope to Mother of God Church in Covington, KY.
The icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help is one of the most well-known and loved images of the Blessed Virgin known to Catholics. For many years, a weekly holy hour or novena in honor of Our Mother of Perpetual Help was common in many parish churches all over the world, and indeed, the custom continues in many places to this day.
Much of the gesso layer of this particular painting had begun to split and delaminate from the wood support panel. If left untreated, the surface paint was in danger of continued loss.
We first stabilized the lifting gesso by carefully injecting adhesive between the gesso and wood. Before the adhesive cured, we were able to painstakingly move the gesso (without breaking it) enough to close or reduce many of the gaps, leaving them the less visible. We infilled and inpainted the small chips and losses along the cracks and outside edges. The back edge of the panel was carefully enlarged to better support the overlapping gesso and paint. This will protect the fragile surface for years to come. The panel was carefully reinstalled with protective pads and conservation glass.