The triptych called "The Master of Mills" nestled in the sacristy of the cathedral of Moulins (Allier) is recognized worldwide as a masterpiece of the early Renaissance. In early November 2022, he left the cathedral to join the workshops of the Centre de recherche et de restauration des musées de France (C2RMF) where he will be restored.
6.The triptych says "of the Master of Mills": the service of the board accompanies its restoration
The restoration work of the Triptych de Moulins continues in the restoration workshops of the C2RMF. For the rest of this chronicle, particular attention is paid to the activities of the service of the board of the department of preventive conservation.
The Board is a support service for all C2RMF restoration and research projects. Its mission is to organize and receive the works, then to ensure the optimal conditions of conservation and manipulation. Stewards work closely with restaurateurs, curators and research engineers on a daily basis.
The company has been supporting the restoration project of Triptyque since its arrival at C2RMF, ensuring the right conditions for the conservation of the work. Until he returned to the sacristy of the cathedral of Moulins. To apprehend these numerous displacements, the board also witnessed the state finding.
©C2RMF / Hugo Plumel
The arrival of the Triptyque de Moulins at C2RMF presented two important issues for the Régie’s department: the handling of these large panels and climate issues.
The large size of the work – 283 x 157 cm – made it difficult to manipulate, although the three panels are separated from each other. The central panel being very heavy, weighing almost 80 kg, the weight of the work required the implementation of a special protocol to be able to move and return the work for the purposes of restoration. For this, the Régie had to call on the occasional help of installers specialized in the handling of weighty works.
©C2RMF / Vanessa Fournier
The material of the work represented a second challenge for the management. Made of thick wood panels, a material that is also sensitive to climatic variations, the Régie had to ensure a stable and controlled climate in the spaces, as soon as the Triptyque arrived. When it arrived, it was necessary to guarantee a smooth transition between the initial climate of the sacristy of the cathedral of Moulins and that of the reserves of the C2RMF Laboratory. The work was not unpacked immediately, to adapt to this new climate before being taken out of the transport crates. After three weeks of acclimatization and accurate monitoring of the climate, the Régie’s department in agreement with the project’s managers and restaurateurs, and with the help of specialized transporters, was able to remove the three panels from their transport crates. The state findings made at that time were able to confirm the fragility of the support.
©C2RMF / Juliette Delerue
The restoration project is as much a conservatory as it is an aesthetic one. In this sense, the management ensures the sustainability of the restored works.