CUADERNOS DE LA ALHAMBRA I núm. 50 I 2021 I págs. 295-319
Recibido: octubre 2021 | Revisado: noviembre 2021 | Aceptado: noviembre 2021 | Publicado: diciembre 2021
ISSN: 0590 - 1987 I eISSN: 2695-379X I Depósito legal: GR 70-1965
MAIN DOCUMENTED
INTERVENTIONS IN THE VAULTS
OF THE SALA DE LOS REYES IN
THE LAST QUARTER OF THE 20TH
CENTURY
PRINCIPALES INTERVENCIONES DOCUMENTADAS EN
LAS BÓVEDAS DE LA SALA DE LOS REYES EN EL ÚLTIMO
CUARTO DEL SIGLO XX
NIEVES JIMÉNEZ DÍAZ,
DOCTOR OF ART FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF GRANADA
nievesjimenezdiaz@gmail.com
ABSTRACT In this article are collected the steps and decisions taken in the last quarter of the 20th cen-
tury by the members of the Board of the Alhambra and Generalife, in accordance with the examinations
and reports by technical specialists from the Instituto de Conservación y Restauración de Obras de Arte.
In connection with those decisions, the interventions aimed at stopping the deterioration caused by the
climatic conditions and the restoration of the encaustic painting are referenced.
KEYWORDS Sala de los Reyes, paintings on hide, copies of paintings, copies of boats, drawings, pho-
tographs, conservation, restoration.
RESUMEN En este artículo se recogen las gestiones y decisiones tomadas en el último cuarto del siglo
XX por los miembros del Patronato de la Alhambra y Generalife, acordes con los reconocimientos e in-
formes vericados por los técnicos especialistas del Instituto de Conservación y Restauración de Obras
de Arte. En relación con estos acuerdos se referencian las intervenciones dirigidas a frenar el deterioro
causado por las condiciones climáticas y la restauración realizada a la encáustica.
PALABRAS CLAVES Sala de los Reyes, pinturas sobre piel, copias de pinturas, copias de barcas, dibu-
jos, fotografías, conservación, restauración.
CÓMO CITAR/HOW TO CITE JIMÉNEZ DÍAZ, N. ,Principales intervenciones documentadas en las bó-
vedas de la Sala de los Reyes en el último cuarto del siglo XX, Cuadernos de la Alhambra, 2021,50, pp
EISSN 2695-379X
CUADERNOS DE LA ALHAMBRA I núm. 50 I 2021 I págs. 295-319
297
MAIN DOCUMENTED INTERVENTIONS IN THE VAULTS OF
THE SALA DE LOS REYES IN THE LAST QUARTER OF THE 20TH CENTURY
COPIES OF THE BOAT VAULTS AND CRITERIA TO BE
FOLLOWED IN THE 1976-1978 INTERVENTIONS
Starting in 1974, during the time of the architect Prieto-Mo-
reno, in view of the serious damage caused to the paintings by
Gudiol’s intervention, the ideas of making life-size copies conti-
nued, without pointing out the latest alterations, and recreating
their support structures and media in order to ascertain the ori-


criteria of the specialists of the Institute for the Conservation


-
ral Heritage informed the technical director of the Institute for

-
ritage had decided that José María Cabrera Garrido, head of the
Chemistry Laboratory and director of the Institute of Conser-

restoration of the paintings in the Sala de los Reyes
1
In 1974, three wooden vaults were built following the
        

Manuel Maldonado, a painter and paintings conservator, lined
the copies of the vaults with leather, using hot glue to attach it

-

vault had been completed, the leather became dismantled due

the error consisted in the fact that the copies were made un-
der the assumption that the original vaults were barrel vaults
-


and, once the three vaults had been copied, an agreement was


  

  and the second
        
1 APAG, Arquitecto conservador/ Proyectos de obras. Caja 7B, File on the
restoration of the paintings in the Sala de los Reyes, 1974, December, 12,
Letter from the General Director of Artistic Heritage.


2
        -
ded that plaster moulds would be made and that specialists
would be commissioned to make the plastic vaults, and that
the paintings would be consolidated and protected with gauze





3


from Madrid, Juan Ángel Laguna Vélez, José Luis Robles Gutié-

the construction of three plastic vaults for copying the paintings

task of building three plastic vaults for transferring the copies
-




phenolic resin, then lined on the inside with linen cloth
4


the paintings in the Sala de los Reyes, José María Cabrera Garri-
do states that he had advised on the construction of the vaulted
structures that would support the reproductions that were to
be made in order to move the originals to a place with better
climatic conditions that would ensure their conservation and

-

-

2 APAG, Conservación/ Restauración/ Informes 2/1, 1991, July, Record of
the interventions and documentation concerning the vaults and paintings
of the Sala de los Reyes.
3 APAG, Libro 410, Book of minutes of the Patronato de la Alhambra y Ge-
neralife, 1975, February, 8, Paintings in the Sala de los Reyes, f. 244v-245r.
4 APAG, Arquitecto conservador/ Proyectos de obras. Caja 7B, 1975-1983,
Contract and clearance for the restoration of the paintings in the Sala de
los Reyes; 1976, February, 20, Certicate of works by the architectural con-
servator, referring to the construction of the plastic vaults for transferring
the paintings in the Sala de los Reyes; APAG, Conservación/ Restauración/
Informes 2/1, 1991, July, Report of the interventions and documentation
referring to the vaults and paintings in the Sala de los Reyes.
CUADERNOS DE LA ALHAMBRA I núm. 50 I 2021 I págs. 295-319
298
NIEVES JIMÉNEZ DÍAZ
-

wooden vaults, a decision was made to create the structures
        -
glass, following the style of the boat vaults, which they gene-


Luís Robles and José Luís Rodríguez, the Patronato decided
-

-

his proposal, given the dual responsibility he had towards the


        
plasterers under the direction of Manuel Maldonado, the
construction of the infrastructures of two vaults was comple-

chemist held a meeting with members of the Patronato and

to continue and complete the work begun on one of the three
-

          -
te’s chemist attended the consolidation and completion of
the vault that was proposed to be completed, following the
meeting held in the workshop with Prieto-Moreno, the ma-
nager of the Patronato, Manuel Maldonado, the surveyor, the
chancellor of the University of Granada, and other techni-


one of the three vaulted structures was completed in layered
-

the restorers, José Luís Robles and José Luís Rodríguez, with
the approval of the Institute’s chemist and the approval of the

Cabrera Garrido, the sturdiness and solidity of the work was
-
cians pointed out, if careless manipulations made it necessary
to reinforce the structure, this could easily be done following
any of the very simple methods schematically laid out by the

        
that constructing the plastic structure of the vaulted support
-
 

-
red that his collaboration could be useful to the restorer, and
         
would ensure that the process was reversible, allowing the re-
productions to be easily detached from the support structure
if necessary, and he also advised in the choice of painting ma-
terials, which would, in accordance with the technology used
in the past, allow for a better and more faithful reproduction

-
ment that had to be applied to the originals to ensure their

and the original was dismantled and transferred to the labora-
-
tion of paintings on parchment in Spain, and these paintings

the application heat and the passage of time, had caused se-

out that, for this type of problem, there were appropriate me-
thods that had been widely studied and could be applied ratio-

In this line of work and in order to advise the Patrona-

Maldonado, following the order of the Directorate General,
the Institute’s chemist believed that it was advisable to carry
out preliminary studies to assess the nature of the original ma-

     
approval before any restoration work could begin
    -
sing the Patronato’s manager, informed him that the work
was halfway through the initial plan and that he would like to
continue the process on one of the boat vaults that had been
completed in order to establish the methodology and working

6


5 APAG, Arquitecto conservador/ Proyectos de obras. Caja 7B, File on the
restoration of the paintings in the Sala de los Reyes, 1975, April, 26, Report
on the conservation and restoration of the paintings in the Sala de los
Reyes, José María Cabrera Garrido.
6 APAG, Arquitecto conservador/ Proyectos de obras. Caja 7B, File on the
restoration of the paintings in the Sala de los Reyes, 1975, May, 14, Letter
from José María Cabrera Garrido.
CUADERNOS DE LA ALHAMBRA I núm. 50 I 2021 I págs. 295-319
299
MAIN DOCUMENTED INTERVENTIONS IN THE VAULTS OF
THE SALA DE LOS REYES IN THE LAST QUARTER OF THE 20TH CENTURY

pending production
7
-

Soriano, Director of the Institute for the Conservation and
-
    

gauze treatment of the paintings so that they could be dis-
mantled and restored either in the workshop or in situ
-
terioration of the paintings, Gonzalo Perales and José María
Cabrera Garrido, specialists from the Instituto de Restaura-
        
a specialist from the Instituto del Restauro in Rome, were
   -
king and to issue reports on the restoration of the paintings in


the paintings, a decision was made to begin restoration work
with the removal of the original vaults and the construction
 
the problem as soon as possible, but was concerned about the
manner in which it was to be carried out, as the paintings, in
terms of the way they were assembled, the structure that held


-
tion to having sought advice from certain professionals, a deci-

in order to obtain more reliable opinions so that action could
be taken as soon as possible
9

and uncover the reinforcements and the bottom of the leather
backing, which would be analysed by both Perales Soriano
and the specialist in medieval artistic media in order to issue
7 APAG, Libro 410, Book of minutes of the Patronato de la Alhambra y
Generalife, 1975, June, 10, Paintings in the Sala de los Reyes, f. 254v.
8 APAG, Arquitecto conservador/ Proyectos de obras. Caja 7B, File on the
restoration of the paintings in the Sala de los Reyes, 1975, June, 18, Letter
from Juan de Dios López González; 1976, March, 6, Letter from Miguel
Rodríguez-Acosta.
9 APAG, Arquitecto conservador/ Proyectos de obras. Caja 7B, File on the
restoration of the paintings in the Sala de los Reyes, 1976, March, 6, Letter
from Miguel Rodríguez-Acosta.


In relation to the gauze treatment on
the paintings, prior to the dismantling of the vaults and their
-
ful to know José María Cabrera Garrido’s criteria and, using
what was already available, to study and issue a new report on
the paintings, which would help in resolving the matter and
making decisions
11

the vice president reported that, on 16 March, Gonzalo Pera-
les Soriano and the restorer, Juan Santos Ramos, travelled to


-

in accordance with what had been agreed upon with the mem-
bers of the Patronato at the meeting on the 16th of the same
month, issued a report on the order of operations to be carried
out, which is as follows:
1
st


frontal lighting and the other with grazing light, in order to
show the surface damage and to record the reasons why it the

2
nd

-

the original colour, which is about to be lost in many areas,
and to form a protective covering with the gauze to guard the
paint against vibrations, impacts, and natural movements that
the vault might undergo as it is removed from its place of ori-

3
rd


4
th


it does not become distorted, which could break the leather

th

and the state of the materials has been considered, a decision
10 APAG, Arquitecto conservador/ Proyectos de obras. Caja 7B, File on
the restoration of the paintings in the Sala de los Reyes, 1976, March, 31,
Letter from Juan de Dios López González.
11 APAG, Arquitecto conservador/ Proyectos de obras. Caja 7B, Contract
and clearance for the restoration of the paintings in the Sala de los Reyes,
1976, May, 17, Letter from Juan de Dios López González.