BAPCR Talk: Restoration of the Adoration of the Shepherds c. 1510 by Sebastiano del Piombo

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Wednesday, 26 June, 2019 - 19:15

BAPCR AGM and evening talk at the Art Workers’ Guild, 6 Queens’ Square, London, WC1N 3AT
Doors 6pm / AGM 6.30pm / Talk 7.15pm

Youjin Noh who will present: Restoration of the Adoration of the Shepherds c. 1510 by Sebastiano del Piombo

The Adoration of the Shepherds c. 1510 by Sebastiano del Piombo (1485 – 1547) is finally on display at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge for the first time in 70 years, after having been through many years of research and restoration.

The painting had long been considered ‘lost’ due to its heavily damaged condition. It was originally painted on a wooden panel but the paint layer was removed and transferred onto canvas in the eighteenth century while owned by the Duc d’Orleans, in a misguided attempt to preserve it. This caused innumerable losses to the paint surface and the composition was almost completely over-painted through subsequent restoration. The decision to restore the painting took 35 years of deliberation and was finally approved in 2008 because of the important historical value of the painting within Sebastiano’s oeuvre. The Adoration is considered to be either the last painting executed by Sebastiano del Piombo before he left Venice for Rome or the painting marking the beginning of his Roman period.

Despite the losses, the remaining information, within and around the damages, provided enough clues to start tracing back the painting’s original appearance. The study of the artist’s painting technique through pigment analysis demonstrated Sebastiano’s sophisticated system of layering colours with the most precious pigments such as ultramarine and red lake. A close study of an early copy of Sebastiano’s original painting from the Louvre was also an important source of information, as well as use of live models, lay-figure and preparatory drawing.

The crucial stage of restoration required a considered approach, due to the condition of the painting, which could be called ‘line layering retouching’. The talk will present the dramatic past of the painting and the details of restoration process undertaken to bring back the Adoration of the Shepherds to public view.

Youjin Noh holds a Master’s Degree in Painting Conservation from Sorbonne University (Maîtrise des Sciences et Techniques de Conservation – Restauration des Biens Culturels) in Paris as well as a Master’s Degree on Paper Conservation from the University of London. Prior to gaining her conservation qualifications, Youjin had studied Asian Arts at Ewha University in Seoul. Youjin has previously worked at the Hamilton Kerr Institute of Cambridge University as painting conservator, undertaking the restoration of many important works, including the Adoration of the Shepherds by Sebastiano del Piombo (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge University). Youjin currently runs her own restoration studio in Hong Kong.

Entry is free of charge to BAPCR members (please email to let us know that you will be attending), and £10 for non-members. Wine and soft drinks will be available to purchase before and after the talk.

Non-members can pay for tickets in advance by:
• Cheque – payable to the BAPCR, posted to: BAPCR, Rose Green, Broomham Lane, Whitesmith, BN8 6JQ
• BACS transfer – NatWest, Sort code: 53 50 33, Account number: 5300 0757
• PayPal - When making payment, follow the instructions online. Click on “Send money” tab. Enter when prompted.

Please email Gemma Collins, BAPCR Secretary at with your name and email address details when you pay for your tickets.