Back in the olden days, art would resemble human or animal-like forms or a man fully equipped with spears and arrows. Art was made in this form during this time, because hunting was the primary source of food and was needed in order to survive. Art has now moved forward from that primitive period and is now much more sophisticated. However, while Renaissance art is still popular, artistic styles like Byzantine, Early Christian, Gothic, Rococo, Baroque and Baroque are responsible for making the modern art that we love today. Sculptures and statues are also popular with many collectors, and adorn many homes. You can care for your sculptures and prevent any damage or corrosion to them, by placing outdoor pieces in a sheltered place away from any water that might drip from a tree. Also you need to shield them from mould, algae and lichen. In extremely cold conditions, stonework can split or shatter as the moisture it absorbs expands and contracts.
Unfortunately, several times stone sculptures are irreparably damaged by cleaning it wrongly. Limestone, sandstone and coadstone for example form a weathered crust which if removed will expose a vulnerable crumbly surface beneath. If the surface is smooth and hard, all you need to do is hose it lightly with water and ease out the loosened dirt with a soft brush. Algae and lichen do little harm, and can be removed from sound surfaces by brushing with a solution of one teaspoon of dichlorophen, (which is available in garden shops) to one pint of water. Sculpture that is displayed indoors is usually made from alabaster, marble, bronze and other metals.
Both alabaster and marble are porous and stain easily. Porous stone is difficult to clean as unfortunately, trying to remove stains from any porous stone may force the stain deeper, or erode the surface. Alabaster and soapstone are very soft, easily scratched and broken, and gradually dissolve in water .Hence they should only be dusted regularly, to prevent a buildup of dirt. White marble can be dusted with pure talc, to fill the pores and prevent any dust becoming ingrained. The services of a qualified professional should be used for any major restoration or repairs of stonework, in order to preserve the value of the piece. With regard to bronze statues, the dark or greenish patina that forms on the statues is highly prized and should be preserved. Metal polish, water or solvents should not be used on bronze pieces. Dusting is enough to keep them clean and retain their value.
Archaeological bronzes or items that have been exposed to salty air may develop what’s known as ‘bronze disease’ – small powdery green spots on the surface. A professional restorer or conservation specialist’s services should be sought for restoring serious cases of “bronze disease”.
Featured Image: Provided by Author – source neosurrealism.artdigitaldesign.com