Restoration of the Ahlsdorf tapestries

Restoration of the “Ahlsdorf Wall Paintings” for the “First Brandenburg State Exhibition” 2014

In 2014, the Elbe-Elster region hosted a significant cultural event: “The First Brandenburg State Exhibition.” The exhibition was held at Doberlug Castle in the town of Doberlug-Kirchhain. Three canvas paintings (wall tapestries) mounted on the west wall of the drawing room in Ahlsdorf Castle were selected for presentation at the State Exhibition. Ahlsdorf Castle is located in the Elbe-Elster district in the state of Brandenburg.

The exhibition presentation was to be conducted in a restored condition. The goal was to make the artistic intention of the wall decoration as a picture gallery in its original ambiance once again experiential. The paintings are part of a nearly completely preserved Rococo room decoration from 1775.

The necessary removal of the stretched paintings and their transportation to the restoration workshop in Berlin took place in January 2014. The installation of the restored paintings at the exhibition venue occurred in May 2014.

The conservation included work on the canvas, the paint layer, and the aesthetic integration of missing areas and visually impaired previous restorations. A special technology was used for the removal of the paintings, which allowed for minimal movement of the textile support during removal and transport. Rolling up the paintings was not necessary. The canvas and paint layers were consolidated, and missing areas were filled. Significant canvas deformations were reduced. Finally, by retouching missing parts of the paint layer and creating a uniform gloss, a harmonious overall impression was achieved.

After the successful presentation at the State Exhibition, the paintings were returned to their original location at Ahlsdorf Castle in November 2014 and reinstalled.

Client: House of Brandenburg-Prussian History (HBPG)

Restoration project management for HBPG: York Rieffel, Berlin

Professional supervision: Brandenburg State Office for Monument Preservation and Archaeological State Museum (BLDAM), Werner Ziems, Mechthild Noll-Minor, Claudia Adler

Team: Jörg Breitenfeldt (Chief Restorer and Project Management), Annette Sturm (Lead Restorer), Ute Seiler Liepe, Doren Moranz