San Gemini, Italy

Traditional Painting: Materials, Methods and Restoration Issues

when 10 July 2017 - 4 August 2017
language English
duration 4 weeks
credits 6 EC
fee USD 3900

This program provides students with an overview of the materials and methods used traditionally by painters in Italy. It involves three courses:

1. A lecture course examining the materials and techniques used in Italian painting during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, including how and why materials weather and age over time and what different approaches there are to their conservation and restoration.
2. A workshop in which students create a series of paintings using traditional materials and methods as prescribed by Cennino Cennini in The Craftsman’s Handbook, written in 1398. The focus of this course is on materials and techniques, it is not an “art” class. Students work with the following techniques: renaissance fresco, sgraffito, tempera painting on wood boards, gilding, and oil painting on canvas.
3. A lecture/discussion course on restoration theory, ethics and issues.

Note: The traditional painting workshop, unlike other workshops in our program, does not involve any formal material restoration work, nevertheless all the knowledge and experience learned in this workshop is fundamental for anyone planning to become a paintings restorer.

Course leader

Nikos Vakalis

Contact information:
(718) 768-3508

Target group

This program is aimed at people studying art restoration and conservation, art history, painting, anthropology and museum studies.

Course aim

This program aims to provide important background knowledge and skills in the field of traditional painting techniques and materials both in a theoretical and practical manner.

Credits info

6 EC
SGPS was originally part of the university program at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee for many years and became an independent study program in 2010.
In the past five years, many of our students have successfully arranged to get independent study credit through their universities. We can furnish your professor and university with any information they require about our course in order to approve it as an independent course, or any other form of accreditation that you are considering. The number of units listed on our website, e.g. 6 units for Programs A, B, D and E, and 1 unit for the Intersession Field Trip, is the equivalent credit level at which students were credited when SGPS was part of a university and what we recommend for independent study credit in 2016.
We can also provide certification that you participated in the course and completed all the class work and field experience. This would be a good addition to your resume if applying for further education or a job in restoration.

Fee info

USD 3900: Fee includes academic costs for the equivalent of 2 units, accommodations, application fee, transportation during academic field trips within Italy that are part of that course, materials and tools, buffet reception, welcome packet, and final dinner. Fee excludes travel to San Gemini, food and insurance.


Applicants should look for financial aid with their home university.