Emma Pietraszko


53-020 Wrocław
Poland, dolnośląskie

(nur für Mitglieder sichtbar)


Geburtsdatum und -ort:
8.04.1982, Legnica, Poland
Adresse: ul. Krzycka 28/2
53-020 Wrocław, Polen
E-mail Adresse:
+48 880 633 714


2002-2008 Masterstudium an der Kunstakademie in Krakau,
Fakultät für Konservierung und Restaurierung
der Kunstwerke, Abschlussdiplom in Konservierung
und Restaurierung der Gemälde 2008
1997-2001 Allgemeinbildende Oberschule Nr. 1 in Liegnitz
(Legnica), Profilklasse Mathematik/Physik
1988 -2000 Musikoberschule 1. und 2. Grades, Klavierklasse


seit 01.2013 bis heute – Nationalmuseum Breslau/Wrocław,
Abteilung für Konservierung und Restaurierung
I. – XI. 2012 – Konservierung des Epitaphs von Helene
v. Gersdorff, Fortsetzung der Diplomarbeit dank
Stipendium des polnischen Ministeriums für Kultur
und Nationales Erbe und Stipendium des Marschallamtes
der Woiwodschaft Niederschlesien
VIII. - IX. 2011 – Carritas, Sandomierz – Arbeit an der
Übertragung eines Fragments des Wandgemäldes
auf einen behelfsmäßigen Huntergrung
VIII. -IX. 2011 – Palast in Wiązownica Kolonia – Konservierung
eines Steinportals
IV. – V. 2011 – Krakau – konservatorische Aufsicht über
Garantiearbeiten an einer Fußgänger-Radfahrer-Brücke
III. 2010 – IV. 2011 – Kraśnik – Arbeit an barocken Fresken
im Presbyterium der Kirche Mariä Himmelfahrt
X. – XI. 2009 – Florenz – Praktikum im Konservierungsatelier
von Stefano Scarpelli, Staffeleimalerei
XI. 2008 - VII. 2009 – Sandomierz – Arbeit an barocken
Fresken in der Presbyteriumskapelle der Domkirche
VIII. – IX. 2008 – Sandomierz – Arbeit im Presbyterium
an byzantinisch-russischer Malerei
II. 2007 - VI. 2008 – Krakau – Diplomarbeit an der Kunstakademie
Krakau – Konservierung Zentralgemäldes am Epitaph
von Helene v. von Gersdorf


Englisch – fortgeschritten
Italienisch – Grundkenntnisse
Deutsch – Grundkenntnisse
Führerschein Klasse B
Grundkenntnisse von Adobe


Kultur und Kunst
Erstellen von Gemäldekopien

Diploma Work Review


The diploma work of Emma Pietraszko
under direction of prof. Grażyna Korpal;
Studies of Conservation and Renovation of Painting
Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow


Epitaph of Helena von Gersdorff is a late-manneristic monument of the Protestant sepulchral art in type of an architectural altar. It was painted on wooden plates in 1673 by unknown artist and put into a local church in Wigandsthal on lands of Upper Lusatia in Saxony. Since 1945 the village is called Pobiedna and still, on Upper Lusatia, belongs to the part of Lower Silesia in Poland. Since 1962 the epitaph -already partly destroyed - has been kept in the National Museum in Wrocław. The epitaph consists of the central picture with a portrait of the dead girl, two columns on both sides of it and two heraldic plates as wings of the monument, two plates with inscriptions above and below the picture, the coping and ornaments.
The epitaph is in quite good condition, but it's missing the columns, the coping and the central picture was missing 3 of 4 slats of its frame and there was a big loss of wood located in the middle of the picture. Heraldic plates and the central picture's groundwork are curved. The central picture is made of two boards, so deformation of the groundwork is varied at different places.
Until 2007 the epitaph had never been restored.
The main aim of the conservation of the epitaph is its future exposure in the museum.
The main principles of the diploma work were:
- RECOGNIZING TECHNICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL STRUCTURE of the epitaph and chemistry of materials used in the process
- full TECHNICAL CONSERVATION of the central picture with reconstructing the loss of the groundwork and missing frame slats
- AESTHETIC CONSERVATION of the central picture – supply a loss of painting layer with a complete reconstruction of the painting layer in place of the missing part of the groundwork; supplement a loss of gold foil
- HISTORICAL AND ARCHIVAL WORK. Aim of that work was to enrich the knowledge about the epitaph and the dead by finding surnames attributed to the 16 family crests.


TECHNOLOGICAL STRUCTURE was recognized by observating the picture in day-light , X Ray and UV luminescence light, chemical analysis of pigments and binders.
CONSERVATION comprised activities:
- Cleaning up face and overleaf of the picture with a soft-soap foam
- Partial removing of old varnish
- Reconstructing the loss of groundwork and joining the boards:
After analysis of a problem, fragment of the groundwork was copied in wood of same species. The piece of wood was carved to proper shape and put at place of the loss on modeling mass Axson, which is both gluing and filling up space between materials. Small losses of the wood were supplied with Axson too. Because of the wood deformation, boards didn't have a common surface. For minimizing irregularities of surface, the boards were glued with joiner's glue under press-screws. Afterwards surface of the reconstructed piece of wood was fitted to the original ones.
- Reconstructing the frame slats. For the technical reason and groundwork surface's deformation, the missing slats were reproduced with Axson
- Losses of ground on picture and frame slats were supplied with glue-chalk ground
- Losses of gold were supplied with gold in foil and powder in bole technique
- Reconstructing the painting layer:
Before real work a project of reconstruction was made in Adobe Photoshop.
Surface of the picture was protected with final varnish based on ketone raisin by Maimeri. Losses of the painting layer and its reconstruction were made up with oil paint.
ARCHIVAL WORK. The family crests are only partly visible – inscriptions around the crests are completely destroyed. Photos made in IR and sodic light didn't show outline of the inscriptions. Search of information on web sites lead the library of Silesia Museum in Goerlitz. In two inventories of Upper Silesia all needed surnames were found and some of full personal details.


Research made during the diploma work showed that technological structure is untypical and has an influence upon condition and look of the painting layer. The ground consists of glue with minimal amount of pigment; the layer is very thin and gives no isolation between groundwork and painting layer. The wood balsam penetrated all layers and is seen as dark smudges on the surface – very hard to remove. Structure of wood marked into the painting layer.

Archival work gave fuller picture of the epitaph and history of the family of Helena von Gersdorff. All the surnames attributed to the crests were not only found in a inventory of Upper Lusatia, but also proved by an inventory of German nobility's crests. Compiled information enabled to make partialy the family tree.

Effect of conservation work is the painting with stabile groundwork. Reconstruction of the painting layer and the frame slats brought back aesthetical values, partialy lost in the past by the losses.
The central picture during renovation, after The central picture after renovation
cleaning up the surface

The incomplete epitaph of Helena von Gersdorff with the central picture renovated on the exhibition „Small and Great Masters; Silesian Pictures of XVI – XVIII c.” in the National Museum in Wroclaw in 2009

II stage of renovation of the Helena von Gersdorff's epitaph



Emma Pietraszko
National Museum in Wrocław, 2012

PAINTING CREATION TECHNIQUE: wooden epitaph of framework construction, made of three kinds of wood (plate and construction elements – fir, frame borders and sculpture elements – lime and pear tree), polychromed in oil technique with golden and silver elements in bole and mordant techniques.

The general condition of the epitaph preservation can be described as good. The exact storing conditions of the work are not known.
The proper construction has given the work some stability, maintaining the boards in flat shape. However, the missing parts of some particular elements and the losses of wood from the frames are clearly noticeable loss of this piece of art.
The missing elements included: part of the finial over the upper ornament, two little columns with supporting them plinths, corner part of cornice over left heraldic table and a part of an ornament from the above of this plate.
The condition of the epitaph wood is quite good. In the creation process there were used several kinds of wood. The elements made of the leafy wood, that is the ornaments and profiled lists, decorating cornices and painting frames are in the worst condition. The wood has been deeply weakened by xylophages activity

All the epitaph boards made of fir are reserved in good condition. The wood seems to be healthy and mechanically resistant. Some boards are deformed – particularly the heraldic tables which constitute a sort of epitaph “wings”. Side light view reveals water stains – possibly rain. The epitaph painting boards were also deformed in result of the loss in the central part of the picture.
All the layers put on the ground in the creation process were not in bad condition, although there was a lot of losses of those layers, mainly in the part of ornamental elements, made of the leafy wood. In the result of bad conditioning of the epitaph storage, many kinds of damage occurred on it. Because of the wood shrink, all the layers became too loose and in some parts they wrinkled, dried and cracked, what lead to deformation of the leayers or simply to another losses.

Gold preserved on the paintings and lists in quite good condition, although the layer of pulment was not thick enough to keep gold well on the surface, so it's abraded and easy to remove.
Painitng layer was protected with an albumen varnish – most proably with egg white – which is very hard to remove, especially by fragile painting layer.
Varnish has become a little darker, there are visible irregular brownish spots, but it preserved in quite good condition.
Condition of the epitaph turned out to be very problematic by basic conservation activities like cleaning up the surface. Dirt boud tightly to the varnish layer and only strong chemicals worked well but were dangerous to fragile layers below.
Another problem was the demage of the wood. Weakened boards and elements were strenghten by Paraloid B-72 in xylene as well as it was possible: despite heraldic plates, all boards of the epitaph were left in the construction frame, so most of elements were not possible to fill in Paraloid. Difficult question to solve was the deformation of few wood boards. Framework construction of the epitaph doesn't allow to enter some ornaments to deformated heraldic plates, so important decision was to try to return the proper shape of those boards.
Important part of the work on the epitaph was archival work, which aim was to find a photography or print of the complate epitaph - necessary for full recontruction of missing elements of the epitaph.
None documents about Helena von Gersdorff were left when I started my conservation of it. During my diploma work I made a historical and archival research (look: Diploma Work Review). Then I found two inventaries (Boetticher Walter, von – “Geschichte des Oberlausitzer Adels und Seiner Güter 1635-1815”, Oberlößnitz,1919 and Knothe H. – “Geschichte des Oberlausitzer Adels und Seiner Güter”, Dresden 1887), with some information about Helena and her epitaph, but without any image of the epitaph.
In second stage of work on the epitaph, I focused my archival work on Polish and German archives, among others: Herder Institut in Marburg, Staatsbibliothek and Kunstbibliothek in Berlin, Archiv Stadt und Kreis Lauban, Berlin's Staatsbibliothek, Wrocław archives and Polish Academy of Sciences – Institute of Art.
Because I didn't find anything crucial, I could have made only some reconstruction, basing on annalogies found on the way. I left two columnes and their basis, same as missing fragments of some ornaments NOT reconstructed, saving respect to the original.
Consistently to the work on the central painting of the epitaph, I made the reconstructions of wood using wood implants and Axson. As a ground I used chalc and glue ground. Filling up the losses of gold, silver and painting I treated differently than during my diploma work. Because gild layer was much wiped out and had a lot of losses, for keeping the original patinated look of gilding, I used polishing bronze creams by Noris BlattgoldFabrick. For painting layer losses I used Maimeri's mastic colours with gloss varnish based on acrilic and ketone raisins by Maimeri.

IN THE RESULT of conservation, Helena von Gersdorff's epitaph is cosolidated, both technically and aesthetically. Proper conservation treatment brought back the faded beauty to the epitaph, still not correcting the original.
Just after finishing my work with the epitpah, IS-PAN sent me information that old photo of the epitaph was found . Unimportant that after proper time, but the reconstructed elements of the epitaph were possible to compare to the original, what's also a very useful lesson for conservators.


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